Coronavirus in Portsmouth: 30 volunteers aged 16 needed in city for latest 'vital' Covid vaccine research

YOUNG people in Portsmouth are needed for the latest ‘vital’ Covid-19 vaccine trial that could impact the roll out of a second dose next year.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 12:36 pm

Running at the Portsmouth Research Hub, in the John Pounds Centre, the Com-COV 3 study will test different Covid-19 vaccines used as a second dose in young people.

The study is open to 16-year-olds who have already received one dose of the Pfizer jab through the NHS, and the results will directly inform decisions about the roll-out of a second dose within the age group in the spring.

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Picture: Sarah Standing (010221-2020)

Dr Alexander Hicks, consultant respiratory physician at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and local lead for the trial, said: ‘In Portsmouth we are looking for 30 young people, aged 16 years old, who can attend the research hub at the John Pounds centre for five to six study visits over the next year, primarily after school and at weekends to avoid disruption to schooling.

‘We have had brilliant responses and support from the public taking part in many other Covid-19 vaccine trials in the last 18 months and we have no doubt there will be significant interest in this study from our city.’

The study, which will recruit 360 volunteers across the UK, is being led by the University of Oxford.

Professor Matthew Snape, associate professor in paediatrics and vaccinology at the University of Oxford, added: ‘This study will provide vital information on the range of options for immunising teenagers against Covid-19 in the UK.

‘As well as looking at the standard two full doses of the Pfizer vaccine, we will look at how well volunteers respond when their second dose of Pfizer is a third that of the first dose, or if different vaccines are used altogether, such as the vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Novavax. This will provide the JCVI with information crucial to informing their advice about immunising teenagers in the UK.’

The study is single-blind and randomised, meaning participants will not know what second dose vaccine they are receiving and researchers will assess any side effects and immune system responses to these different vaccine combinations.

Any 16-year-olds interested in taking part can visit comcovstudy.org.uk

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