Third COVID vaccine ‘booster’ trials are launching in the UK

Thousands of UK residents will soon be receiving their third dose of the coronavirus vaccine as part of a new clinical trial.

Third COVID Vaccine ‘Booster’ Trials Are Launching in the UK
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The Cov-Boost study is now commencing in the UK to gain insight into the effects of using a third ‘booster’ vaccine.

UK launches COVID-19 booster trial

The trial led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is set to involve thousands of participants will unveil the impacts of seven COVID booster vaccines in the battle against coronavirus.

The trial, which is set to begin in June, will involve around 2,886 people aged 30 and older, recruited from around 18 NHS sites from London to Glasgow. The study will also use seven existing vaccines, including:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Moderna
  • Novavax
  • Janssen from Johnson & Johnson
  • Valneva
  • CureVac

Each of the 18 sites will be separated into three groups, with each testing a different set of jabs. Some of the vaccines will initially be administered in half-doses in order to examine the immune response. Some experts also believe that the half-dose will be enough to offer increased protection and could be the solution for countries with a more limited supply of COVID vaccines.

The study will determine if third jabs will be necessary for further COVID protection

The study will also collect data on any side effects, as well as any data on people whose third booster is from a different brand from their original two. All findings from the study will then be sent to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) around August/September. The JCVI will then decide on whether or not third doses will be necessary to fend off coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced: ‘We will do everything we can to future-proof this country from pandemics and other threats to our health security, and the data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year.’

I urge everyone who has had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and is eligible, to sign up for this study and play a part in protecting the most vulnerable people in this country and around the world for months and years to come.

The lead investigator of the study, Professor Saul Faust, explained that the trial’s goal is to discover whether or not a third coronavirus vaccine will furtherprotect citizens from existing and emerging variant strains of COVID-19. He continued:

We're hoping the immune responses will be high enough to protect people against all the strains circulating in the UK, including we'll be testing in the lab against the Indian variant, the South African variant, the Kent variant as well as the original strain.