July 1, 2021 -- Clinical trials are being conducted across the United States to see if giving fully vaccinated adults a different kind of booster dose is effective.

One of the participating sites is the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, which is now recruiting volunteers.

“As more and more COVID-19 variants are identified, we need to figure out how we, as a community, can stay protected,” Judy Martin, MS, a professor of pediatrics at the Pitt Medical School and a member of Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research, said in a news release.

“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 medical school said the study will be broken into two cohorts, one of them involving about 150 adults who are fully vaccinated with the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

They will receive a single booster dose of the Moderna vaccine 12 to 20 weeks after their initial vaccination regimen, the release said.

A second group of about 250 unvaccinated adults will receive the two-dose Moderna vaccine. They will receive a booster dose 12-20 weeks later. The news release did not specify what kind of vaccine the booster dose would be.

Volunteers will provide blood samples throughout the year to study their immune response, the release said. If a volunteer gets COVID-19, investigators will try to determine if a variant caused the infection.

Initial results are expected in late summer of 2021, though the study will run 1 year. Other vaccine combinations will be studied.

The sites are operating under a program run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Other participating sites include the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta; the University of Maryland at Baltimore Institute of Human Virology; the New York University School of Medicine - Langone Medical Center in New York City; the University of Rochester (New York) Medical Center - Vaccine Research Unit; the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - Infectious Diseases; the University of Texas Medical Branch - Division of Infectious Disease in Galveston; the Baylor College of Medicine - Molecular Virology and Microbiology in Houston; the University of Texas Medical Branch - Sealy Center for Vaccine Development in League City; the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute - Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in Seattle; and the University of Washington - Virology Research Clinic in Seattle.

Show Sources

Pitt Med School. “Pitt Enrolling Participants in Mixed COVID-19 Booster Shot Trial”

NIH. Delayed Heterologous SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Dosing (Boost) After Receipt of EUA Vaccines

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