Volunteers aged 18-30 can earn £225 for taking part in Covid booster study in Portsmouth

VOLUNTEERS can earn up to £225 for taking part in the latest Covid-19 vaccine booster study, launching in Portsmouth this week.

The COV-BOOST: Young Adults Fractional Dosing Sub-study will run at the Portsmouth Research Hub, part of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

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The study is looking at the use of different vaccines and doses for giving a third dose in young adults.

Queen Alexandra Hospital. 094418-24

The National Institute for Health Research supported study, which is led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, is looking for local volunteers who are are between 18 to 30 years old and have had two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, with at least 3 months (84 days) since their second dose.

Those taking part will not have received a booster.

The study is open to people who have tested positive or negative for Covid.

Participants will be reimbursed up to £225 for their time, inconvenience and travel, with boosters given in January and into February.

Professor Saul Faust, chief investigator and director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, said: ‘If we find that giving a lower dose of these vaccines to young adults gives as good an immune response as a higher dose, this could have positive implications for global vaccine supply and may result in a lower side effect profile in this age group.

‘Our vital Covid-19 vaccine research would not be possible without support from the public, who continue to step forward to take part in our studies. We need young adults from all backgrounds to take part in this new study.’

Participants on the study will be randomly selected to receive one of the following doses:

A single dose of Pfizer (currently used in the UK booster programme)

One third of a single Pfizer dose (currently recommended for 5 - 11 years old in the UK)

A half Moderna dose (the dosage used by the NHS as a 3rd dose booster)

One quarter of a single Moderna dose

The study will take place at 15 hospitals across England, Wales and Scotland, and will include a total of over 900 participants.

All participants will be monitored throughout the study for any potential side effects and will have bloods taken to measure their immune responses on the day of their first visit and then two weeks, one month, three months and eight months following vaccination.

Dr Linda Harndahl, project manager at the Portsmouth Research Hub, added: ‘We’re proud to have supported the first phase of the COV-BOOST study, which provided important data to inform the UK’s booster vaccination programme, and want to thank all our research participants for taking part.

‘The opening of the next phase of the study provides another exciting opportunity for our local community to be part of the research response to the pandemic.

‘We’re looking for young adults aged 18-30 and living in and around Portsmouth to take part in the study.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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