A clinical trial began this week to find out whether a third dose of vaccine will provide people with better protection against the COVID-19 virus, and to gather evidence on how different vaccines work together. The Bradford Royal Infirmary recruited the world’s first participant to a new study that will help find the answers.
Some vaccines, such as the hepatitis vaccine, work for life. Others such as polio or tetanus need regular boosters to maintain our immunity. In the case of influenza, vaccines are developed every autumn to protect against the latest three of four flu virus strains that are forecast to be dominant over the winter season.
Covid has been with us for such a short time that we are still learning how long our immunity lasts after infection - and after vaccination.
It seems highly likely that, as with flu jabs, we will need boosters of the Covid vaccine every year to protect against winter surges and to protect against new variants. What we don’t know is which vaccine will provide the best protection.
This latest trial, known as CoV-Boost, will help us find out the answers. Here participants will be given a different vaccine to the one they have been given already and mixing them will help researchers analyze which combinations would give prolonged protection against the virus.
One of the volunteers for the trial was an 82-year old lady while the other was a palliative care doctor at the Infirmary who has witnessed many deaths during the pandemic. While none of them has shown symptoms the recruits will be monitored as the trial continues, and the end result should help to determine whether booster jabs should be given this autumn, and if so, which one.
Source : BBC