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Researchers Launch COVID-19 Vaccine Research Project, Seek Participants

Media Contact:

Bubba Brown

Senior Technical Writer, Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

COVID-19 may no longer be prompting widespread business shutdowns, forcing people to social distance in public, or straining the nation’s health care infrastructure the way it did during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and early 2021. 
But that doesn’t mean the coronavirus is no longer a significant public health concern—or that we don’t still need to learn more about the disease and how to protect people against it. 
Researchers at the University of Utah and Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health are among those continuing this important work. A research team representing the organizations recently launched a new study to compare how well two COVID-19 vaccine boosters inoculate against the virus. The team is seeking 1,500 adult participants in Salt Lake City and the surrounding regions.

Profile photo of Sarang Yoon
Sarang Yoon leads the research team for the BEEHIVE study.

Leading the team is Sarang Yoon, DO, MOH, a professor with the University of Utah and Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health who has significant experience researching COVID-19. She said this study, called BEEHIVE (Booster Epidemiological Evaluation of Health, Illness, and Vaccine Efficacy), is likely to yield valuable knowledge that can aid in the development of more effective vaccines. 
“Our team is excited about launching this project and looking forward to gaining valuable insight into COVID-19 boosters,” she said. “None of it is possible without our participants, so we’re grateful for everyone who helps out with this effort. I hope people know that their participation truly matters and helps us perform research that, at the end of the day, will hopefully help people.”
People who join the study can earn up to $550 in compensation based on the length of their participation. Receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccine is not a requirement, but participants may choose to get one as part of the study. Participation entails completing online surveys at the beginning, middle, and end of the project, as well as reporting symptoms of illness through online surveys when sick.

The BEEHIVE project is the latest of four large-scale vaccine studies Yoon and her team have conducted in the last three years. Two of the previous studies were focused on COVID-19, and another examined the efficacy of influenza vaccines. Those studies resulted in a number of peer-reviewed publications, including two in The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the world. 
Anyone interested in participating in the study can learn more and sign up at or by contacting the research team at or 801-203-0320.