First volunteer at Sussex hospital receives covid booster jab in world-leading trial

A hospital worker has become the first person at a Sussex trust to receive a covid booster jab as part of a world-first clinical trial.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:37 pm
Alan was the first participant to receive a jab

The Cov-Boost study is designed to give scientists a better idea of the impact of a booster dose of each vaccine in protecting individuals from the virus.

Alan Street was the first person to step forward and take his shot in the arm at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

He said: “I feel honoured to have been the first person from this area to take part in this trial.

“Everything went well and the team here are just brilliant.

“I have had my two vaccines a while ago so this is my third and I didn’t even feel it.

“I am just proud to have taken part.”

Seven different potential ‘booster’ vaccines will be trialled in the study, which is the first in the world to provide vital data on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses.

It is led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and backed by £19.3 million of government funding through the Vaccines Taskforce.

The trial launched in Bradford earlier this month, one of 18 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-supported sites across the UK to take part.

The initial findings, expected in September, will help inform decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on plans for a booster programme from autumn this year, ensuring the country’s most vulnerable are given the strongest possible protection over the winter period.

People in Sussex are now being invited to take part in the trial.

The study is open to those aged 30 years and over, who received their first COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 or January 2021, and who have also received their second dose booster. 

The site in Brighton is looking to vaccinate 148 people.

Alan, a Resuscitation Services Lead, has urged other volunteers to come forward.

He said: “When I got a message on my phone about this study and asking to see if wanted to see if I was eligible to take part, I enrolled as soon as I could.

“If people have the chance to take part in a study which could help patients, staff, everyone, feel safer - then why not get involved?

“If people are fit and healthy and eligible, I would say, ‘Come and get the booster.’”

The trial will look at seven different COVID-19 vaccines as potential boosters, given at least 10 weeks after a second dose as part of the on-going vaccination programme.

One booster will be provided to each volunteer and could be a different brand to the one they were originally vaccinated with.

Vaccines being trialled include Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen and Curevac, as well as a control group.

Professor Martin Llewelyn, Director of Research at UHSussex, said: “It is so exciting that locally people in Sussex can be involved in this really important trial…a trial that will help shape the UK’s booster vaccine

campaign against COVID and protect all of us from any future wave.

“We have recruited a lot of people already but we are open to more people getting involved.

“So, if people are interested, please go on to the COV-BOOST website and register your interest to volunteer in this fantastic study.”