Thousands to get third dose of Covid vaccine in clinical trial

Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Downing Street, L

Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Downing Street, London. - Credit: Tolga Akmen/PA Wire/PA Images

A new clinical trial will see thousands of volunteers receive a third jab.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the Cov-Boost study, led by researchers in Southampton, will provide data on the impact of a third dose on people's immune responses.

In total, 2,886 volunteers will take part and get another dose of the vaccine across 16 sites in England.

The jabs will begin early next month, with initial findings expected in September.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the findings would "help inform decisions by the JCVI on plans for a booster programme from autumn this year".

Mr Hancock said: "We will do everything we can to future-proof this country from pandemics and other threats to our health security, and the data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year."

It comes as the health secretary announced at a press conference in Downing Street at 5pm on Wednesday, May 19, that almost 3,000 cases of the Indian coronavirus variant have now been identified in the UK.

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Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen and Bedford have been the main areas where worrying numbers of cases had been identified.

But Mr Hancock said surge testing and extra vaccine supplies would now be deployed in Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow, Kirklees, Leicester and North Tyneside to control the spread of the highly-transmissible strain.

He reminded the public how important it is to be vaccinated as 'the majority' of people in hospital with the variant had not yet had a dose.

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