Covid: Vaccine volunteers sought for children’s second dose study

A trial to test how well second doses of different coronavirus vaccines work in children is looking for volunteers.

Scientists want to see if giving two doses of different vaccines gives as good an immune response as two doses of the same vaccine.

The study, running at University Hospital Southampton, is looking for 360 volunteers aged 12-16 to take part.

From Monday, children aged 12 to 15 in the UK are to be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The year-long trial is taking place in four locations in the UK – University Hospital Southampton, University of Oxford, St George’s University Hospital in London and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

It will see the volunteers given a full standard dose of Pfizer vaccine.

About eight weeks later they will then be given a second dose of one of the following:

  • A full standard dose of Pfizer vaccine
  • A half standard dose of Pfizer vaccine
  • A full dose of Novavax vaccine
  • A half dose of Moderna vaccine

However, they will not know which second dose vaccine they have received.

The vaccine has already been offered to those aged 16 and above. However 16-year-olds who have already received one dose are eligible for the trial.

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Dr Katrina Cathie, from University Hospital Southampton, said initial results of the trial were expected at about Christmas and would “directly inform decisions about the roll-out of a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in this age group in the spring”.

Volunteers need to attend up to six study visits over the next year.

University Hospital Southampton said the visits would be “primarily after school and at weekends to avoid disruption to schooling”.

The study is being led by the University of Oxford and funded by the UK Vaccine Task Force and the National Institute of Health Research.

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