New study to test third Covid-19 vaccine for people with weakened immune systems

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A new clinical trial will investigate whether a third dose of vaccine for people with weakened immune systems gives a stronger immune response than two doses.

A new clinical trial to determine whether a third dose of vaccine will improve the immune response for people who have weakened immune systems is launching in the UK.

The study, OCTAVE DUO, will offer people who are immunosuppressed or immunocompromised a Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax vaccine to determine whether this will give a stronger immune response than two doses.

The £2.2 million study will build on the OCTAVE trial, led by the University of Glasgow and co-ordinated by the University of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said, “Vaccines have built a strong wall of defence in the UK and this is allowing most of us to learn to live safely with COVID-19.

“We know some people may get less protection from the vaccine than others, so we are planning for a booster programme in the Autumn, prioritising those most at risk.

“This new study will play an important role in helping to shape the deployment of future vaccines doses for these specific at-risk groups,” he added.

The OCTAVE trial has published preliminary data showing that 89 per cent of people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed generate antibodies following vaccination, and 60 per cent generated a strong antibody response following two doses of a vaccine.

However, 40 per cent of people in these groups mounted a low, or undetectable, immune response after two doses, and the level of antibody response varies between the groups studied.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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