LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky will once again participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial. This time UK will assess dose levels of a Johnson & Johnson booster shot. 

What You Need To Know

  • University of Kentucky selected as a site for a national booster shot trial

  • Approximately 660 people across the country will participate

  • The study will look at the need for boosters and if vaccine types can be mixed

  • UK has participated in a few clinical trials

UK has assisted in a pair of clinical trials in the past. The first in 2020 when vaccines were being developed and a second earlier this year involving the Moderna vaccine and postsecondary students. 

Right now vaccines remain effective against COVID-19, but as it evolves vaccine makers want to make sure to understand the virus to determine if and when boosters will be needed and if vaccine types can be mixed. This Phase 2 trial will include people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and those who received Pfizer. The study will include approximately 660 participants from across the country according to a release from UK. 

Dr. Richard Greenberg, who has more than 40 years of international vaccine development trial experience, leads this booster study and three other vaccine trials at UK. Dr. Philip Kern, director of the UK Center for Clinical & Translational Science (CCTS), and Dr. T. Shawn Caudill serve as co-investigators.

“At this time, the COVID-19 vaccines are working well, but it’s critically important to study boosters so that we can stay ahead of the coronavirus and its variants," Greenberg said.

The release says participants in the trial will be randomized to receive one of three booster regimens and their immune response to the boosters will be monitored with blood tests throughout the study. Participants will also keep notes on a smartphone app and their health monitored by volunteers. Every participant is being paid for their involvement in the trial. 

“We are all enjoying going back to some semblance of our normal lives, but we need to know more about COVID-19 booster shots,” Kern said in the release. “The UK CCTS is here to help make important studies such as this happen, and we’re happy to play a part in ensuring the health of Kentuckians.” 

To learn more about the trial and to take an eligibility survey for the vaccine booster trial go to StopCOVIDKy.com and look under the booster study button.

The StopCOVIDKy.com site is an up-to-date hub for information on other COVID-19 vaccine and transmission studies enrolling participants at UK.


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