UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health are among the first sites in the country to study whether an investigational vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca can prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The study, which is recruiting participants, is a phase three randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial — the gold standard for measuring the efficacy of investigatory drugs.

UW is one of 100 clinical sites around the country to participate in the trial and planned to enroll 1,600 people by Nov. 1.

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive two injections of either the investigational vaccine (also known AZD1222) or a placebo. Participants are twice as likely to receive the investigational vaccine than the placebo.

The study will last approximately two years and enrollees will periodically undergo tests to monitor their health.

People interested in learning more about participating in the study can email uwcovid vaccine@clinicaltrials.wisc.edu or call the hotline at (608) 262-8300 or (833) 306-0681.