UW Medicine Recruits Volunteers To Test New COVID Booster Shot

SEATTLE — The University of Washington School of Medicine is looking for fully vaccinated volunteers to participate in a clinical trial for a new booster shot designed to improve immunity against a wide variety of COVID-19 variants and strains.

The study will utilize vaccine candidates developed by Gritstone, a California-based biotech company. In the trial's first stage earlier this year, researchers enrolled unvaccinated volunteers. The trial's upcoming second stage will measure the effectiveness of providing the vaccine as a booster to people who already received both doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson.

While current vaccines have proven effective in preventing serious illness and death against current variants of concern, researchers hope to learn if the new vaccine candidate can offer broader protection as the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to evolve.

"With the emergence of the Delta and other COVID-19 variants, we need to stay ahead of the virus by developing effective vaccines that will aid in the prevention of all strains of COVID," said Dr. Anna Wald, director of UW Medicine's Virology Research Clinic.

For the booster trial, volunteers need to be 18 or older, healthy and without significant allergies. Participants must have been fully vaccinated for at least four months to enroll.

The clinical trial will require each volunteer:

  • Make nine to 14 or more in-person clinic visits and also will receive one to two telephone check-ins with study staff over 12 to 14 months.
  • Receive one or two injections of investigational vaccine.
  • Have blood drawn several times to monitor safety and to see whether the vaccine results in an immune response.
  • Keep track of how they're feeling after the injection.

Those interested in participating in the study can contact researchers via e-mail or by calling 206-520-4340.

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