Vaccine volunteers in Hartlepool offered booster or Pfizer jabs
A Covid-19 vaccine trial centre in Hartlepool is among the first to be offering its participants a booster jab.
The Novavax study at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, one of many sites around the country, is now inviting its volunteers into the centre to receive a further jab.
Earlier this year the study found that the vaccine was 89% effective in protecting against the virus although there have been delays in guidance for its official use.
With all of the study participants having received both vaccine shots – but now needing a booster jab – the Department of Health and Social Care announced that all participants will be offered the option of either a booster or two doses of the Pfizer jab with an eight-week gap between each dose.
David Chadwick, principal investigator for the Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance, which runs the Hartlepool study, said: “Following the welcome news that all participants can safely receive a booster from the Pfizer vaccine, our staff have started offering them.
“Everyone involved in the study is being given the option to either receive the booster shot or a full course of two Pfizer vaccines to enable them to travel abroad."
He added: “While we understand the frustrations of all of our volunteers, we are pleased to be one of the first centres in the world to be offering this option.
“It will allow people to who haven’t been able to travel over the last year to do this after their second vaccine.
“Our fantastic team have been committed to supporting participants through every step of the process. We hope this welcome news is reassuring for everyone involved in the study.”
*A separate walk-in clinic takes place in Hartlepool on Saturday, October 16, for people still to be full vaccinated against coronavirus.
It takes place from 10am-6pm at the town’s Mill House Leisure Centre car park with first and second doses of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines available.
Those planning to attend for a second dose of a vaccine are reminded that it must be at least eight weeks since they received the same first dose.
Booster jabs will also be available for people who received their second dose second months ago.