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Health workers sought for hydroxychloroquine study

Apr. 23, 2020, 10:23 AM


By Bill Snyder

Health care workers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 can participate in a randomized, controlled clinical trial testing the effectiveness of the drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in preventing infection.

A further aim of the study is to shed light on why some people, after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, do not exhibit any symptoms or become ill.

Participants will be invited to participate in a correlative blood study, in which they will give a sample of blood before and after taking the study medication (HCQ or placebo).

No more than 10 milliliters of blood will be drawn at two points during the study (one at study entry and one at the end of the 12-week trial period).

Participating in this additional study will enable researchers to learn more about how HCQ affects the immune system.

It also will allow them to test specifically whether some participants may have been unknowingly infected previously and recovered, and whether exposure to the virus occurred during the trial.

Principal investigators are Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD, Ingrid Mayer, MD, MSCI, and Brian Rini, MD. To determine eligibility and to enroll in the primary national trial led by researchers at the University of Minnesota, send an email to

Those who qualify for and enroll in the primary trial can join the blood-based sub-study by sending an email to, and the blood collection will be scheduled.

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