The UK is starting the “Booster” test of 7 different COVID-19 vaccines


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Wednesday launched a nationwide study to explore whether administering a third dose of coronavirus vaccines would be safe and effective in expanding immune protection against COVID-19.

The trial, which aims to recruit nearly 3,000 participants, will examine seven different shots of COVID-19, some of which are already approved by regulators and are widely used and others that are still in development.

British officials have planned the possibility of a booster vaccination campaign before the winter after initially targeting vaccination with a two-dose program for the entire adult population through the summer.

Leading vaccine manufacturers, as well as some U.S. policymakers, have also suggested that reinforcing or even annual shots of COVID-19 may be needed. But some global health experts have questioned whether there is evidence to show that these repeated vaccines are necessary.

Saul Faust, a professor of pediatric immunology and infectious diseases at the British University of Southampton, who will co-lead the trial, said his findings would inform vaccination strategy planners and politicians “in their decision on whether increase someone by a third at all, or – if they get a boost: what vaccine can be used “.

Vaccines being evaluated include COfID-19 features from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna already being rolled out in the UK, as well as Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Valneva and CureVac vaccines for which the UK has futures supply offers.

People who have already received two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine will be given as third shots, with the first findings scheduled for September.

“Data from this first global clinical trial will help shape the plans for our reinforcement program later this year,” said Health Minister Matt Hancock.

Hancock also said Britain would host a meeting of G7 health ministers in person in Oxford on 3-4 June, ahead of a leaders meeting later this month.

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