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First Covid-19 'booster' jabs given in new vaccine trial

Volunteers from Cambridgeshire are among the first to get a third 'booster' dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, as part of a new UK trial.

The Cov-Boost study will provide vital data on the immune response to a third dose of a Covid vaccine and could help shape a potential 'booster' jab programme this autumn.

The trial is being run by 18 research sites across the UK, including Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Professor Krishna Chatterjee, NIHR
Prof Krishna Chatterjee, Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Facility in Cambridge

We have conducted trials of several Covid-19 vaccine studies over the last year. It’s an exciting opportunity to now work on a study to determine the effects of a third ‘booster’ dose

Video: Prof Krishna Chatterjee, Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Facility in Cambridge


Video transcript

00:00:03:06 - 00:00:04:19

My name's Krishna Chatterjee.

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I'm the director of the NIHR clinical research facility in Cambridge.

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So half the UK population have now

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been vaccinated against Covid, usually with two doses of either

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the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine.

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Because of the emergence of variants, it's likely

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that vulnerable people may need a booster vaccination.

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And in that regard, this study aims to find out

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using a range of different booster vaccines which one stimulates

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the immune system the best, depending on the vaccine

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that they originally had.

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This information is going to be very valuable

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for the joint committee on vaccination,

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should they need to inform national policy

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about the need for booster vaccination

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for the population in the autumn or winter.

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With the emergence of variants in the autumn,

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we would like to find out

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whether we need to booster vaccinate vulnerable people

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in order to stimulate the immune system

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to provide protection against Covid.

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We're particularly looking for older people, individuals over the age of 70

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who have had both doses of a Covid vaccine,

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typically the first dose in December or January

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and the second dose before the middle of April.

The trial in Cambridge will include several different Covid-19 vaccines including the Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen and Valneva.

More than 180 participants from the Cambridgeshire area are taking part, with all volunteers aged 30 years or older and already double dosed with a Covid-19 vaccine.

One vaccine booster will be randomly allocated to each participant, including a placebo vaccine.

The study will monitor for any reaction and measure the immune response to the vaccination, by taking a series of blood tests from participants over the next year.

Cov-Boost Trial
Prof Peter Landshoff, Cambridge Cov-Boost volunteer

The government-funded trial, led by the University of Southampton, is being carried out by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Clinical Research Facility at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Initial results are expected in September and will help inform any potential booster programme from autumn this year, ensuring the country’s most vulnerable are given the strongest possible protection over the winter period.

Volunteering for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

People wishing to volunteer to support clinical trials can sign up for information on Covid-19 vaccine trials with the NHS C (opens in a new tab)OVID (opens in a new tab)-19 Vaccine Research Registry (opens in a new tab).

Anyone living in the UK can sign up online to take part in the trials through the NHS, giving permission for researchers to contact you if they think you’re a good fit.

Once you sign up, you can withdraw at any time and request that your details be removed from the COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry.

The process takes about 5 minutes to complete.