NIH COVID-19 Research Initiatives
In response to COVID-19 and the many challenges associated with the pandemic, NIH launched a variety of efforts across its institutes and centers, as well as partnerships between the federal government and private industry. These efforts aim to accelerate research-based solutions in testing, treatments, and vaccines and to support researchers, health care providers, and those hardest hit by the pandemic.
These efforts directly support NIH’s strategic priorities outlined in the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research
- Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV)
- Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx)
- Children and COVID-19
- Clinical Data Coordination Group
- Clinical Trial Networks
- Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities
- Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) Initiative
- Pregnant and Lactating Women
- Social, Behavioral, and Economic Health Impacts
Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV)
ACTIV is a public-private partnership to coordinate research and speed the development of the most promising COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.
Through ACTIV, NIH and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) are bringing together more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for coordinated COVID-19 research.
The ACTIV site includes up-to-date information on master protocols for therapeutics and vaccine trials.
Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx)
NIH launched the RADx initiative to encourage innovation to speed the development and availability of COVID-19 tests. RADx programs include RADx Advanced Technology Platforms (RADx-ATP), RADx Radical (RADx-rad), RADx Tech, and RADx Underserved Populations (RADx-UP).
The RADx site includes information about each of the programs and projects funded through the initiative.
Children and COVID-19
Among NIH’s many research efforts focusing on the effects of COVID-19 on children, is the Collaboration to Assess Risk and Identify Long-term Outcomes for Children with COVID (CARING for Children with COVID). Through this program, NIH is developing and funding studies to find out why some children are at greater risk for infection than others, why symptoms vary among children who are infected, and how to identify children at risk for severe illness from infection. CARING for Children with COVID is helping researchers track and understand multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a potentially serious condition in which multiple body parts can become inflamed. The syndrome has been identified in children who had COVID-19 or were around someone with COVID-19.
CARING for Children with COVID research includes:
- Long-Term Outcomes after the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children (MUSIC). Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and leveraging the Pediatric Heart Network, this study focuses on cardiovascular complications of MIS-C but also collects data on all aspects of childhood and adolescent health in affected participants.
- Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Safety Profile of Understudied Drugs Administered to Children per Standard of Care (POP02). Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and leveraging the Pediatric Trials Network, this study focuses on understanding the treatment of children diagnosed with COVID-19 or MIS-C with medicines that have shown promise in adults with the virus.
- Pediatric Research Immune Network on SARS-CoV-2 and MIS-C (PRISM). Sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this study aims to evaluate the short- and long-term health outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, including MIS-C, and to characterize the immunologic pathways associated with different disease presentations and outcomes.
- Predicting Viral-Associated Inflammatory Disease Severity in Children with Laboratory Diagnostics and Artificial Intelligence (PreVAIL kIds) is a research funding program to encourage the development of approaches that identify children at high risk for developing MIS-C. PreVAIL kIds is funded by the RADx Radical (RADx-rad) program to support new, nontraditional approaches and reimagined uses of existing tools to address gaps in COVID-19 testing and surveillance.
Clinical Data Coordination Group
The Clinical Data Coordination Group is working to align COVID-19 data efforts both inside and outside NIH. Its goal is to leverage insights and identify use cases around policy, data harmonization, technology, outreach, and analytics to create a COVID-19 data coordination strategy.
Clinical Trial Networks
This group was formed to create a roadmap that outlines the data, tools, technology, and people needed to create a central repository of clinical trial network information to be used across NIH.
Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities
CEAL focuses on providing trustworthy information through active community engagement and outreach to the people hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. CEAL research teams are currently active in 11 states, working to support and expand existing NIH community outreach through COVID-19 trial networks. The CEAL website includes resources in English and Spanish and information on current research studies.
Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) Initiative
Long after they recover from the initial stages of COVID-19 illness, many people continue to experience symptoms. These symptoms are diverse and include what has come to be known as “Long COVID” and include fatigue, shortness of breath, “brain fog,” sleep disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, and depression, which can persist for months and range from mild to incapacitating. NIH launched a series of Research Opportunity Announcements to learn more about how SARS-CoV-2 may cause such symptoms and other long term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and develop ways to treat or prevent them.
Pregnant and Lactating Women
This initiative aims to use the collective strength of 18+ institutes and centers at NIH to speed research related to the impact of COVID-19 on women who are pregnant or nursing.