Opinion | Long Covid Sufferers Have Waited Too Long for Help

After Recover began in February 2021, the National Institutes of Health released research proposals. However, until early June 2021 for the first prizes to be announced and until September NYU Langone Health in charge of a $470 million study, which represents nearly 40% of Recover’s funds for sustained Covid research.

The study called for observation of about 40,000 people in different groups, without any intervention. As of August 23, it had only enrolled about 7,600 adults, out of a target of 17,680, and about 624 for the children group, out of a target of 19,500. (This is the place to sign up.)

One of the Recover hosts, Gary H. Gibbons, director of the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, told me this is fast by historical standards – but we’re racing against a pandemic, not history.

As with the rest of our pandemic response, the fragmented nature of our health care system is an issue. Recovery has begun Recruit from over 200 sitesunsurprisingly, hard to use.

Also, while research is trying to move forward, Omicron waves may have infected at least 60 percent of the country with the Covid virus. Only 940 recruits were uninfected in the Recover study, out of 2,680 targets. Such a shortage makes it more difficult to have sufficiently sized control groups.

Stuart Katz, a New York University cardiologist and principal investigator of the Recover study, told me in mid-June that the study was trying to modify the protocol to respond to Omicron waves, specifically especially to recruit people who have been infected multiple times. However, he said, such an update requires approval from the Recovery Steering Committee, the NIH Executive Committee and the NIH Observational Data Safety Oversight Committee. As of mid-August, the protocol update has yet to be issued.

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