Real-World COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness in Healthcare Workers

Illustration of a group of healthcare workers

A study funded and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will evaluate how well COVID-19 vaccines prevent laboratory-confirmed, symptomatic COVID-19 in healthcare workers in the “real world,” outside of a clinical trial. The study, currently enrolling healthcare workers at 34 sites nationwide, is one of many projects analyzing the real-world protection afforded by COVID-19 vaccines.

CDC is leveraging four existing programs, each with multiple sites, to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness among healthcare workers across 26 states:

Vaccine effectiveness studies allow researchers to assess how well vaccines protect people from illness in real-world conditions. The real-world effectiveness of vaccines may be affected if vaccination process requirements, such as vaccine storage and dosing intervals, are less strictly adhered to than they were in clinical trials. These real-world effectiveness studies may also enable researchers to evaluate vaccine effectiveness in groups not included in clinical trials, such as people with underlying medical conditions. Additionally, they can help inform COVID-19 vaccine policy decisions made by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

user md solid icon

Healthcare workers with COVID-19 symptoms will be eligible to enroll, and the vaccination status of healthcare workers who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 will be compared with that of healthcare workers who test negative for SARS-CoV-2. Initial results will be available in the coming months.

CDC is investing more than $11 million to support the study partners through various mechanisms. These include a cooperative agreement with the Emerging Infections Program (EIP); a cooperative agreement with EMERGEncy ID NET for Project PREVENT; an Interagency Agreement with the Denali Commission; and contracts with SHEPheRD.

Study Partners

CDC Arctic Investigations Program (AIP) sites include the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC). In Alaska, the project will be implemented through a collaboration between the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Southcentral Foundation (SCF), Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), and CDC AIP.

EIP sites include a mix of hospitals and long-term care facilities selected in the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Project PREVENT participating medical centers include:

  • Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA;
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA;
  • Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL;
  • Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA;
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA;
  • Truman Medical Centers, Kansas City, MO;
  • University of Alabama Hospital, Birmingham, AL;
  • Community Regional Medical Center/UCSF, Fresno, CA;
  • University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL;
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA;
  • University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA;
  • LCMC Health Hospitals, New Orleans, LA;
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS;
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX;
  • University of Washington Hospitals, Seattle, WA; and
  • Valleywise Health Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ.

SHEPheRD participants include:

  • Duke University, Durham, NC;
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;
  • Rush University, Chicago, IL;
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT;
  • Washington University, St. Louis, MO; and
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
Page last reviewed: March 24, 2021