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World-first Covid vaccine booster study

Volunteers from the East of England will soon be able to receive a third ‘booster’ Covid-19 vaccine as part of a new clinical trial launching this week.

The Cov-Boost study will be run from 18 research sites across the UK, including Addenbrooke's Hospital, and will be recruiting more than 2,800 volunteers. It will be the first study in the world to provide vital data on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses.

Professor Krishna Chatterjee, NIHR
Professor Krishna Chatterjee, director of NIHR Clinical Research Facility

Professor Krishna Chatterjee, director of NIHR Clinical Research Facility in Cambridge, who will be leading the trial at CUH, said: “We are excited to now be able to offer the chance to take part in this next, vital study to people in the region.

We hope as many volunteers as possible who are over the age of 30 and who’ve already received two doses of a vaccine will join us in this important research”

Professor Krishna Chatterjee, director of NIHR Clinical Research Facility

The trial will look at seven different Covid-19 vaccines - including the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Phizer/BionTech, and Moderna - as potential boosters, given at least 10 to 12 weeks after a second dose as part of the ongoing vaccination programme.

One booster will be provided to each volunteer and could be a different brand to the one they were originally vaccinated with.

Matt Hancock MP, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “We will do everything we can to future-proof this country from pandemics and other threats to our health security.

The data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Health and Social Care Secretary

Anyone interested in participating can find out more by signing up to the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry (opens in a new tab).

Participants will be adults aged 30 years or older and will include those immunised early on in the vaccination programme - for example, adults aged 75 and over or health and care workers.

All the trial sites are working on ways of including people in research from a wide variety of backgrounds and individuals from ethnic minorities are encouraged to apply.

Dr Helen Macdonald, Chief Operating Officer for the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network in the Eastern region, said: “Our NIHR colleagues have been instrumental in the progress that’s been made, but we couldn’t have reached this point without the people who volunteer to help by taking part in research. We hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to help support this research too.”

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 are a good fit.

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

The initial results, expected in September, will help inform decisions on any potential booster programme from autumn this year.