COVID-19 Vaccine Study FAQ

Questions and Answers About the COVID-19 Vaccine Study

Who can take part?

  • Adults 18 years and older.
  • Healthy or have medically-stable chronic diseases.
    • Medically stable means you can have a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., as long as you are being treated for it and it is stable.
  • Do not have a previously confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

How many people can participate?

Approximately 33,000 participants from all over the country will be enrolled.

The first 3,000 volunteers will be enrolled in a sub-study looking to see if the vaccine provokes an immune response and to see if the vaccine causes expected reactions like fever, bruising/swelling, or soreness near the injection site.

Will I get the actual investigational vaccine?

Some people will get the investigational vaccine and some will get a placebo (saline, no actual medication).

How many people will get the investigational vaccine?

2:1 people will get the investigational vaccine, which means approximately 20,000 people will get the investigational vaccine and 10,000 will get the placebo.

Will I know if I get the investigational vaccine or the placebo?

This trial is a double blind trial, which means neither you nor the study team will know if you get the investigational vaccine or the placebo.  Only the pharmacist providing the dose will know.

How long do I have to participate in the trial?

The actual trial lasts for 2 years. We hope that you would participate the entire 2 years, but your participation is entirely voluntary and you can drop out of the trial at any time.

Do I get injected with the COVID-19 virus if I participate?

No. This investigational vaccine is made of a recombinant replication-defective chimpanzee adenovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2.

What does that mean?

The investigational vaccine uses a weakened form of a cold virus only found in chimpanzees, that makes one of the COVID-19 virus proteins.

How many visits are involved?

2 in-person visits (sub-study participants have 2 additional in-person visits), several follow-up phone visits and 6 blood draw visits.

What are the risks?

The study team will go over in more detail any potential risks, but the most common side effects reported so far have been vaccination site pain, tenderness, chills, fever, headache, muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue or a general overall feeling of being ill. The majority of these events were mild or moderate in severity and lasted from 1 to 7 days.

Are there any benefits?

Recipients of the investigational vaccine don’t have any guaranteed benefit, however, the study may prove the vaccine to be effective and may offer participants protection from COVID-19.

The information gained from this study will help determine if this investigational vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent COVID-19 and help decide if it should be made and distributed widely.

Do I get paid to participate?

You will not be paid to take part in the study, but volunteers are compensated for their time and travel.

Can I participate if I get my flu shot?

Yes, you may get your flu shot at any time during the study.

If I work at the University of Michigan or Michigan Medicine, can I participate?

Yes, employees of the University of Michigan and Michigan Medicine can participate, unless you were directly involved with the planning / and or conducting of the study.

Learn More and Volunteer

Visit the COVID-19 vaccine trial page on to discover if you are eligible and learn more about the  trial.

Blue rectangle with text: Volunteer Now

Other Studies

Visit to learn more about other coronavirus-related clinical research studies at the University of Michigan.

Contact Us

Reach out to the study team at