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St. Luke’s participation in historic national COVID-19 research ends

St. Luke’s participation in a historic national study on COVID-19 led by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is wrapping up as the data collection concludes.

The study has been overseen by St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Harmony Tyner, with Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research facilitating it. St. Luke’s is one of six organizations involved in the study including Kaiser Permanente, the University of Arizona, the University of Florida, the University of Utah, and Baylor, Scott & White. Through the study researchers were able to analyze how COVID-19 moves through populations of people.

This study helped answer many important questions including how well COVID-19 vaccines worked against different strains of the COVID virus, and how long the immune response to both infection and vaccine lasted. This large study collected high quality data that informed national public health guidance.

Locally, Northlanders played a major role in the study, with 907 first responders, frontline workers and healthcare professionals participating. Local participants had a cumulative total of 6,610 blood draws and 63,662 nasal swabs during the study. The total number of swabs used, stacked end to end, is equal to the height of about 14 Eagle Mountains, the highest natural point in Minnesota. That’s almost 32,000 feet.

St. Luke’s appreciates everyone who helped make its participation in this groundbreaking study a reality. Their participation meaningfully contributed to the understanding of COVID, and pandemics in general. Without the participation of all the involved frontline workers, the findings made during the research process would not have been possible. – St. Luke's press release