Covid Research Press Teleconference

The National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit think tank, has a free series of monthly 1-hour live online press teleconferences on a range of Covid issues of importance to journalists. The series is supported by the federally funded independent nonprofit Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI).

Our third press teleconference will be on Friday, September 25 at 1 pm Eastern time.  Our featured speaker is Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health, who is leading an ongoing NIH study of more than 10,000 individuals over the age of 18 who volunteered to have regular blood tests and complete questionnaires to determine if they have immunity to the coronavirus and how that changes over time.  The study will also compare immunity among individuals who have previously been diagnosed with the virus (since the study began in April), and those that haven’t. The first study results are likely to made available in October, so this is an opportunity for journalists and medical writers to learn about the status and potential implications of the study (but not the results) in preparation for when the results are made public.

The discussants will be Dr. Susan Wood from the George Washington University School of Public Health; award-winning medical writer Rita Rubin; and patient advocate Crispin Goytia, a Covid-19 survivor and Covid plasma donor living in a multi-generation household. Dr. Diana Zuckerman will be the moderator.

This live teleconference is for journalists and medical writers only.  They will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speaker and discussants and learn about the following:

  1. What is known and what is not known about immunity to the coronavirus among a representative sample of 10,000 individuals ages 18+ in the U.S.?
  2. What information is being collected in the NIH study and how will that information be useful in helping control Covid-19 and any future epidemics or pandemics?  What information will it provide that is relevant to herd immunity?
  3. Are there other studies underway that will also help answer questions about whether people exposed to the virus are likely to become immune to it and if so, for how long?
  4. What are the questions journalists should ask when they are working on stories pertaining to Covid and immunity?

The National Center for Health Research is an independent nonprofit organization focused on the use of research to improve the health of adults and children.  Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funds patient-centered outcomes research that helps provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.  For more information about this event, contact