Yorkshire volunteers to receive third 'booster' dose of a Covid-19 vaccine

Volunteers in Yorkshire will receive a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine during a trial that will help the government decide whether “booster doses” should be administered later this year.

Thamoor Faqir prepares to give a Covid-19 vaccination at the Penny Street Vaccination Centre in Blackburn

The government has announced that doses will be administered at 18 sites across the UK, including one in Bradford and one in Leeds, as part of the £19.5m clinical trial.

During the trial, which begins in June, scientists will use the vaccines produced by Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen and Curevac.

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Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is looking to recruit 148 volunteers, who are all over the age of 30 and have already received two doses of a vaccine.

Each volunteer will receive one dose at least three months after their second jab.

Professor Dinesh Saralaya, who will be leading the trial in Bradford, said: “Participants will be given a different vaccine to the one they have been given already, and by mixing them in this way, we will find out which combinations are the most effective to give us continued protection against this deadly virus.

“As we know, vaccines are the only way out of this pandemic and research is vital in the hope of us getting back to normal.”

He added: “If I was a punter I would say that the booster will prevent a winter surge.”

During the study, which will be led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, 2,886 patients will receive a jab across the 18 sites.

They will be monitored throughout the study for any side effects and blood samples will be taken after 28 days, 84 days, 308 days and one year, so scientists can assess their immune response.

The initial findings of the study are due to be released in September and the government says they will help the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decide whether a booster programme should be rolled out this autumn.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We will do everything we can to future-proof this country from pandemics and other threats to our health security, and the data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year.

“I urge everyone who has had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and is eligible, to sign up for this study and play a part in protecting the most vulnerable people in this country and around the world for months and years to come.”