IMPACT on Research: The 'AZ HEROES' Study and COVID-19 Immunity

Understanding the degree of immunity that the COVID-19 vaccine provides is an important metric in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. FCM's  Karen Lutrick, PhD, and Patrick Rivers are vital team members of the CDC-funded study, AZ HEROES (Arizona Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Other Essential Workers Surveillance), that's led by the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The study seeks to better understand the complexities of the immune response to the novel coronavirus, and evaluate the immunity of Arizona first responders, essential workers, college students and high-risk populations. Dr. Lutrick is a co-investigator and the researcher in charge recruitment, retention and day-to-day operations of AZ HEROES, and Rivers is the study's data manager.

Early data from the study shows that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are 90% effective in preventing infections in real-world conditions. What's more, the study has shown that those who were fully vaccinated were 90% less likely to get infected.

"The AZ HEROES provides a unique opportunity to understand COVID-19 exposure, infection, and vaccine effectiveness in a diverse group of frontline/essential workers," said Dr. Lutrick.

"By including occupations such as retail and food-service workers, and Spanish-speaking participants, we can understand the impact COVID-19 is having on our community. Also, the dynamic nature of the study has allowed us to already discover valuable information about vaccine effectiveness, antibody response, and household transmission," she explained.  Read more >>