University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in COVID-19 vaccine booster clinical trial

Vaccinate PA

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WHTM) — The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is one of the twelve sites across the country selected to participate in a clinical trial in which fully vaccinated adults will receive a third “booster” dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases clinical trial will study the safety and immune response of a mixed-booster regimen. The Pittsburgh Vaccine Trials Unit’s study is broken up into two cohorts, according to the press release:

  • 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. Twelve 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

“As more and more COVID-19 variants are identified, we need to figure out how we, as a community, can stay protected. 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 volunteer will provide blood samples throughout the year, which will be used to study their immune response against new variants. Initial results are expected in late summer 2021.

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