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Infectious Diseases - COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, DOR researchers committed to investigating all aspects of the new virus and impacts of the pandemic it caused. In DOR’s infectious disease section, this meant tracking effectiveness of potential treatments, exploring issues for special populations, tracking virus behavior, and more.


Investigators with the infectious diseases section were involved in evaluating outpatient use of Remdesivir in people with COVID-19, and tocilizumab in mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients. DOR researchers also evaluated tenofovir, a medication used to treat HIV and to prevent at-risk people from contracting HIV, in the context of prevention of COVID-19-related hospitalization and deaths.

Special Populations

DOR investigators examined risk of venous thromboembolism in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, comparing those with and without respiratory symptoms. They published large-scale views of risks for severe COVID-19 outcomes, based on data available from the large number of patients cared for by Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

They also collaborated with other institutions to explore important COVID-19 issues, such as tracking antibodies to the coronavirus through the Serological Sciences Network. They worked with the NA-ACCORD COVID-19 epidemiology team to look at the coronavirus effects among people with HIV, finding differences in testing and in breakthrough infections among vaccinated people with HIV.

COVID-19 Vaccines

DOR’s deep expertise in vaccine development, effectiveness, and safety through its Vaccine Study Center gave it a central role in both clinical trials for the new vaccines as well as tracking safety through the Vaccine Safety Datalink. More information is on the center’s website.

Meanwhile, vaccination against COVID-19 became an important factor in exploring outcomes of people hospitalized with the virus. DOR investigators assessed risk of severe outcomes among COVID-19 patients with differing vaccination status. They also explored the protective effect of vaccination of pregnant women on their babies after delivery.

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