LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As COVID-19 vaccine booster shots go into arms, part of the research University of Louisville scientists are doing will help determine things like how long immunity really lasts. That's part of what researchers with the Co-Immunity Project are working to learn, as they do another round of tests on willing Louisvillians. 

What You Need To Know

  • UofL's Co-Immunity Project is testing people to learn how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts

  • The project is also sampling the city's wastewater, to track where most infections are

  • Lab staff conducting tests on willing participants also say positive tests are on the rise


People pulled into the parking lot, for a nose swab and finger prick. That's the testing routine Dr. Rachel Keith is running, at various sites around Louisville. 

"With science, part of what we do is we question stuff," the Associate Professor of Medicine said. She's gathering information to learn how long people are kept safe from coronavirus. That includes, how long both natural immunity and immunity from vaccines last. 

Antibodies are measured, and a person's counts are tracked over time. It's a big topic, as booster shots are being released. Keith's results ultimately help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make decisions on how to guide and advise people. 

When Spectrum News 1 observed the testing method, participants did not want to reveal who they are. But Bluewater Lab director Erik Korte says they're all happy to help.

"They're here by choice," he said, "they're here because they understand the study and they want to help."

Keith hopes that people can also have the chance to see, understand, and trust the science she's doing. 

"I think the other thing that hopefully this teaches us, is where to find good information," she says.

While staff collect samples from people, other crews also collect wastewater around town. These samples are meant to help detect COVID-19, and show where it's most concentrated in the city.