Behind the UK Cov-Boost trial

The UK government has begun the Cov-Boost clinical trials for a booster coronavirus vaccine in a bid to test its effectiveness against the new variants of the virus. As part of the trial, seven vaccines ordered by the UK government will be tested on thousands of volunteers at random in all age groups to see whether some age groups would need an extra round of shots in the autumn season.

As per the new Cov-Boost trial, a third shot of booster vaccine dose will be given to the patients after 10 to 12 weeks of the second dose. The third dose might be from a different brand from the first and second dose.

Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Valvena, Janssen and Curevac will be administered in the trial. The patients/participants will be closely watched during the study for symptoms, and their immunity will be checked on day 28, 84, 308, and 365 to see their response.

The trial will be conducted in 16 NIHR-selected venues, including University College Hospital, Guys and St Thomas Hospital, and Northwick Park Harrow, and 2,886 participants, will take part. The findings will be shared in September 2021 after the shots are completed in June 2021.

The new data from will be collected and reviewed to help scientists and experts plan out the course of action for the winter months to protect people from yet another wave of infections, explained Kunal Sawhney, CEO of Kalkine Group.

Sawhney said: “In the last one year, Covid-19 vaccines were researched upon, fast-tracked, were brought into use. All these developments proved how significant the trials are in all of these advancements. The trials are crucial for everything, from experimenting with new medicines to taking stock of behavioural therapies.”

Professor Mark Woolhouse, who researches infectious diseases at Edinburgh University, said that after six months, there might be another strain which makes us rethink our vaccination drive and booster doses.

According to PubMed, around 6013 clinical trials only on Covid-19 treatment and vaccines have been published so far. Of this, only a few clinical trials have provided data for the efficacy of treatments for Covid-19.

According to Sawhney, experts and healthcare officials across the world believe that as inoculations in most countries gather speed, Covid-19 may end up like influenza, with a booster dose required annually.

Image credit: Martin Sanchez

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