People of Southampton step up to deliver COVID-19 vaccine booster study

Over 200 people from Southampton joined the national COV-BOOST study. That makes the city one of the biggest contributors to this vital study, looking at ways of using coronavirus booster jabs.

Those people are part of 2,886 volunteers nationwide. Taking part at 16 different sites, they joined through the national NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry. All are adults aged 30 years or more, who received their first two vaccinations early on. They include adults over 75 years of age and health and care workers.

"We needed people aged 30 and over, who’d received their first two vaccinations early on. In practice that meant Southampton's older people and frontline workers. Their response was fantastic. Yet again the people of Southampton have stepped up, meaning we can get the answers faster," comments Prof Saul Faust, Chief Investigator and Director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility.

The study was the first trial worldwide set up to compare different booster vaccines. In the UK, the data will inform advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) regarding which vaccines will be used in the NHS booster programme from September. It's hoped the results will help to optimise protection for the most vulnerable through the winter period.

Trialling seven vaccines as potential boosters

The trial will look at seven different COVID-19 vaccines including 3 at half the standard dose:

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca

  • Pfizer/BioNTech

  • Moderna

  • Novavax

  • Valneva

  • Janssen

  • CureVac

The third jab will fall at least 10 to 12 weeks after participants' second doses. That booster may not use the same vaccine as their first two jabs.

All participants will be monitored throughout the study for any potential side effects. They will also have bloods taken to measure their immune responses at days 28, 84, 308 and 365. A small number will have extra blood tests at other times. A symptom app allows participants to alert the study team if needed and 24-hour emergency phone access to a study doctor.

Those interested can find out more on Twitter @CovBoost and the website