Portsmouth volunteers needed for Covid-19 'booster' vaccine trial

VOLUNTEERS in Portsmouth are being urged to take part in a trial for a booster of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 11:35 am
Updated Sunday, 30th May 2021, 10:26 am

Portsmouth Research Hub, part of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, is one of the sites running the Cov-Boost trial to see which of the existing vaccines could be used in a future vaccination booster programme.

The study will give the team behind the UK’s vaccination programme a better idea of how effective a third booster vaccine is in protecting people from coronavirus.

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Retired GP Wendy Peters gives Jackie Blake a vaccination jab at St James' Hospital in Portsmouth in February - now volunteers from Portsmouth are wanted to help with a vaccine booster trial Picture: Habibur Rahman

Consultant respiratory physician Alex Hicks said: ‘The success of the national Covid-19 vaccine program has made a huge difference to all our lives and meant that we can look forward to the summer with much more hope.

‘Going forwards, though, there are still unanswered questions as to whether we will need additional booster vaccines to continue to protect us and our communities.

‘This will allow us to see what additional protection they gain and importantly guide both national and international vaccine programs that will shield us all from the worst effects of Covid-19.’

The Pfzier/BioNTech vaccine. Picture: Michael Gillen

The team at the Portsmouth Research Hub, at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea, want to hear from people in the city who are aged 30 years old and over and received their first Covid-19 vaccine between December 2020 and January 2021, and their second dose between March 2021 and early April.

Volunteers will receive up to £180 to reimburse them for their time, travel and inconvenience.

The city’s research hub was set up by the hospital trust and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), alongside other local health and care organisations, in March this year to support Covid-19 vaccine research.

For those living further afield in Hampshire, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is also taking part in the trial.

Alex added: ‘In the future, it will be used as a space to host a wider range of research studies and aims to create more opportunities for the people of Portsmouth and its surrounding areas to get involved in health and care research.’

For more information on the study and to apply to take part, people can go to covboost.org.uk.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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