World-first coronavirus vaccine booster study begins in UK

A world-first clinical study which will trial using different coronavirus vaccines as a third 'booster' jab has begun in the UK.

The Cov-Boost study, led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and backed by £19.3 million of government funding through the Vaccines Taskforce, will trial seven vaccines and will be the first in the world to provide data on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses. 

The study will take place at 16 National Institute for Health Research-supported sites across England, and also within Health and Care Research Wales and NHS Research Scotland sites.

It will include 2,886 patients, with participants being vaccinated from early June.

The trial will look at seven different Covid-19 vaccines as potential boosters, given at least 10 to 12 weeks after a second dose as part of the ongoing vaccination programme.

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

The government had 100 doses on order. Credit: PA

All participants will be monitored for any side effects and will have bloods taken to measure their immune responses at days 28, 84, 308 and 365.

All sites will have an electronic diary for all participants that will send alerts to the team in real time if needed and a 24-hour emergency phone to a doctor.

Chief Investigator and Director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility Professor Saul Faust said: “It is fantastic that so many people across the country have taken part in vaccine trials up to now so that we can be in a position to study the effects of boosters, and we hope that as many people as possible over the age of 30 who received their first dose early in the NHS programme will be able to take part.” 

The 18 sites where the trial will take place include:


London (3 sites – University College Hospital, Guys and St Thomas Hospital and Northwick Park Harrow)




Wrexham (Wales)











Volunteers can find out more about the study and sign up here.