A health board has started its appeal to recruit 185 volunteers for a world-first clinical trial to see whether a booster vaccine dose could protect people against Covid-19 and its variants.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is the only area in Scotland taking part in the trial, which will be run at Glasgow Clinical Research Facility.
In total, 2886 people aged 30 and older are being recruited at 18 NHS sites across the UK for the trial, with the first booster jabs administered in early June.
Scientists want people who received their first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab in December or January to sign up, and hope people aged 75 and over will also come forward.
The trial will look at seven Covid-19 vaccines as potential boosters, given at least ten to 12 weeks after a second dose as part of the ongoing vaccination programme.
Professor Julie Brittenden, NHSGGC director of research and innovation, said: “Vaccines are an incredibly important tool for our fight against Covid-19.
“The team based at our Glasgow Clinical Research have been at the forefront of Covid research over the past year.
“Their work has been vital in developing the vaccines that are now being rolled out across the world.
“With this study we are supporting further research into the effectiveness of booster vaccines and hope our community will continue to support this vital research.
“Those wishing to take part should sign up to the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry and we expect to welcome first patients on to the study in June.”
Experts believe all seven vaccines will boost immunity and lab studies will check their response to variants circulating in the UK including those from India, Kent and South Africa.
The £19.3m clinical trial will test jabs from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, CureVac and Janssen from Johnson & Johnson.
All of the information will be fed to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) at the end of August or early September.
The JCVI will then guide the British Government on whether people should be boosted with a third dose and which vaccines should be used, depending on supply.
UK health secretary Matt 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.
“I urge everyone who has had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and is eligible, to sign up for this study and play a part in protecting the most vulnerable people in this country and around the world for months and years to come.”