UW Medicine to run COVID vaccine booster trial

SEATTLE — Researchers with UW Medicine are among those at 12 sites nationally that will be studying whether a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will keep COVID-19 and its variants away. And they need volunteers to help.

The purpose of the clinical trial, which is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is to test the safety and effectiveness of additional doses of vaccines in people who have already received emergency-use authorized vaccines.

The three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use in the U.S. are made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

The trial could also indicate whether getting a booster with a different vaccine platform provides broader protection as immunity wanes or helps fight against variants, said Dr. Christine Johnston, principal investigator and an associate professor of medicine at UW Medicine’s Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“It is possible that immunity may decrease with time after vaccination, which could make it more difficult to prevent COVID-19, particularly if there are variants of concern circulating,” she said Monday.

The delta variant is responsible for surges in cases across the world, including 95 percent of the new infections in Britain where more than 50 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

For more information on the clinical trial and eligibility, call 206-520-4366 or email [email protected] You can also find more information on the NIH’s webpage for this clinical trial.

The study will enroll two groups:

  • Group 1: Participants who have gotten two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of the J&J vaccine at least 12 weeks before joining the study.
  • Group 2: Participants who have not previously received any of the U.S.’s authorized vaccines, but are willing to be vaccinated. This second group will receive the two-shot Moderna series as part of the study, and may receive a booster shot later.

To be eligible for the trial, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 12 weeks ago; or be willing to receive an initial COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the booster.
  • Have not tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding.