Volunteers needed for UW Medicine COVID-19 booster trial

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Eugene Hoshiko

SEATTLE, Wash. — Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine need volunteers for a COVID-19 booster trial.

Those who volunteer will take part in the second stage of a Phase 1 trial. It’s meant to test the safety, tolerability, and immune response to a new vaccine.

In the first stage of the trial, the experimental vaccines were given to unvaccinated volunteers. In this second stage, the vaccines will be given as a booster shot to volunteers who have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The hope is that by targeting a number of coronavirus proteins, the vaccine will give protection against a wide variety of SARS-CoV-2 strains and variants.

The vaccine candidates were developed by Gritstone bio.

“With the emergence of the Delta and other COVID-19 variants, we need to stay ahead of the virus by developing effective vaccines that will aid in the prevention of all strains of COVID,” said Dr. Anna Wald, director of the UW Medicine Virology Research Clinic and head the UW School of Medicine’s allergies and infectious diseases division. She is the trial site’s principal investigator.

“We hope that these investigational vaccines enhance and broaden the immune response elicited by vaccines currently available in the U.S.,” said Dr. Tia Babu, acting assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a trial investigator.

To enroll, participants must be age 18 or older, healthy, without significant allergies, without a history of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at least four months prior to enrollment. Persons over age 60 are encouraged to participate.

Participants will be asked to:

  • Make nine to 14 or more in-person clinic visits and also will receive one to two telephone check-ins with study staff over 12 to 14 months.
  • Receive one or two injections of the investigational vaccine.
  • Have blood drawn several times to monitor safety and to see whether the vaccine results in an immune response.
  • Keep track of how they’re feeling after the injection.

Anyone interested in taking part in the trial should contact the UW Medicine Virology Research Clinic at gritstone@uw.edu or 206-520-4340

More information about the trial can be found online here.  The study’s identifier is NCT04776317.

The study is sponsored and funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. It is being conducted through the NIAID-supported Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium.

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