University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Enrolling Participants in COVID-19 Booster Shot Trial

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FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2020, file photo, Pat Moore, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before administering it to emergency medical workers and health care personnel at the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

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PITTSBURGH, P.a. (WETM) – The University of Pittsburgh announced it’s participating in a clinical trial in which fully vaccinated adults will receive a third “booster” shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The trial is being done through the Pittsburgh Vaccine Trials Unit and the National Institute of Alelrfy and Infectious Diseases. The trial will study the safety and immune response of a mixed-booster regimen.

“As more and more COVID-19 variants are identified, we need to figure out how we, as a community, can stay protected,” Doctor Judy Martin, a professor of pediatrics at the Pitt’s School of Medicine and member of Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research said. “The study’s design is not to show whether we need booster shots. Its focus is identifying which vaccine combinations are safe and provide the most protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants.”

The study is broken up into two cohorts. One group will be comprised of fully vaccinated adults who received one of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. under FDA Emergency Use Authorization: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Moderna and Pfizer. 12 to 20 weeks following their initial vaccination regimen, volunteers will receive a single booster dose of another COVID-19 vaccine.

Another group will be comprised of around 250 adults who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. Volunteers will receive the two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine regimen and will receive a booster dose of a vaccine about 12 to 20 weeks later.

Throughout the year, the volunteer participants will provide blood samples, which will be used to study their immune response against new variants of COVID-19. If participants contract COVID-19 throughout the duration of the study, investigators will assess whether a COVID-19 variant caused the infection.

While study participants will be followed for a year, initial results are expected in late summer 2021. Other combinations of vaccines may be studied in the future as part of this research.

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