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Piedmont to Study Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in Organ Transplant Recipients

Atlanta (April 27, 2021) – Piedmont Atlanta Hospital is the first enrolled site in the United States for the COVE Transplant clinical trial, which will study Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on liver or kidney transplant recipients.

Raymond Rubin, M.D., chief scientific officer of Piedmont Transplant Institute, is serving as coordinating principal investigator for the study. The study’s goal is to enroll approximately 220 organ recipients at least six months after their transplant and 20 patients who have not received organ transplants (the control group).

“We are excited to participate in this very important study and look forward to working with Moderna, which performed ground-breaking work on its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine,” Dr. Rubin said. “To prevent rejection of their organs, transplant patients are on medications to suppress their immune system. We need to understand if they develop the same amount of protective antibodies and whether that protection lasts as long as in people not on immunosuppressants. This study is an important step in investigating that concern.”

Participants are required to return to the study site seven days after receiving each of their injections. Among other requirements are:

  • Participants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Not having a known history of COVID-19 infection or close contact with a person who has a COVID-19 infection within two weeks of vaccine administration.
  • Not having received a prior vaccination against COVID-19
  • Not being pregnant or breastfeeding.

Piedmont Transplant has the largest abdominal transplant program in Georgia and is one of the top 15 programs nationally. It also has the largest adult liver transplant program in Georgia and ranks No. 8 in the country by volume.

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