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Study asks if vaccinated people can still transmit virus, Fauci says

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says scientists are trying to answer the two most pressing questions for millions of Americans already fully vaccinated against COVID-19: Can they become infected without showing any symptoms, and if so, can they transmit the coronavirus to someone else?

Fauci said at the White House coronavirus briefing Friday that a large trial is under way involving 12,000 college students at more than 20 universities.

“This is a question of extreme importance,” he said. “This will help inform science-based decisions about mask use and about social distancing post-vaccination.”

Half the students will get the two-dose Moderna shot and the other half will initially serve as a control group, while getting the same vaccine four months later.

All the students will keep an electronic diary, swab their noses daily and provide occasional blood samples. They’ll also provide the names of close contacts. Fauci says it may take about five months to get some answers.