This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Volunteers needed for latest COVID-19 vaccine booster study launching in Portsmouth

Volunteers are needed for the latest COVID-19 vaccine booster study launching in Portsmouth next week.

Local residents will have the opportunity to take part in the study, which is running at the Portsmouth Research Hub, part of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

The study will explore whether a single booster injection developed by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi in partnership with GSK, safely creates a broad immune response against the different COVID-19 variants.

The study is open to adults aged 18-years-old and over who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having previously received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

For the first phase of the study, which opens next week, researchers are specifically looking for volunteers aged 18 to 55 who have received two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. For the second phase of the study, which is expected to launch in November, researchers would like to hear from anyone over the age of 18 who has received two doses of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.

The study is open to healthy volunteers, as well as those with health problems which might put them at greater risk of complications from COVID-19. Across the UK, around six hundred volunteers will take part across five National Institute for Health Research-supported sites.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study can visit the study website to find out more and sign up.

Recruitment to the study has already begun in the United States, Australia and France, and will soon begin in Spain. The first group of UK volunteers for the study were vaccinated in September 2021. Those involved in the study may contribute to the development of an additional vaccine that works for the good of global public health. Initial data from the study are expected to be available in quarter 4 of 2021.

Since the opening of the Portsmouth Research Hub at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea in March 2021, hundreds of Portsmouth residents have come forward to support COVID-19 vaccine research. Residents have already taken part in the COV-Boost study, which is looking at different COVID-19 vaccines given as a third ‘booster’ dose, as well as a study exploring how well an Oxford/AstraZeneca variant vaccine protects against the Beta COVID-19 variant, first identified in South Africa.

Dr Patrick Moore, a GP and local investigator for the study, said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the response from the local community and would like to thank Portsmouth residents for their continued support and for stepping forward to take part in our vital COVID-19 vaccine research.

“It is important that we continue to test new COVID-19 vaccines as they become available and the results of this study will inform future vaccine booster programmes, helping us to understand how we can best protect the population.”

Professor Adam Finn, Chief Investigator for the study, said:

“Throughout the pandemic we have seen excellent engagement and participation from the public within multiple pivotal vaccine studies. By examining the safety and effectiveness of the booster vaccine from Sanofi, it’s hoped researchers and participants can help add another option to our current portfolio of vaccines.

“Booster vaccines from different suppliers will give us a broader range of vaccines and help us to reinforce supply as we look to boost immunity in the population going forward, as needed.”

Professor Andrew Ustianowski, National Clinical Lead for the UK NIHR COVID Vaccine Research Programme, said:

“In addition to the several other COVID-19 vaccine studies running across the UK, this latest booster study from Sanofi will help inform future vaccine plans across the UK and beyond.
“As more of the population become fully vaccinated, research and studies such as this continue to strengthen our understanding of how we can help protect everyone against coronavirus moving forward.”