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UK volunteers among first to trial Moderna’s Omicron-specific vaccine

UK volunteers among first to trial Moderna’s Omicron-specific vaccine

Around 3,000 volunteers from the UK will reportedly be some of the world’s first to test Moderna’s new Omicron-specific vaccine. The volunteers would be taking part in a new clinical trial, which will be led by a team at London’s St. George’s Hospital, due to start this week.

It is expected that about 29 hospitals will be taking part in the trial across England, Wales, and Scotland.

Half of the candidates will be receiving Moderna’s current booster dose, while others will receive the firm’s new vaccine, which contains Omicron-specific genetic material.

Those taking part in the new trial are required to be COVID-free since the start of November last year, having had their second, or last, dose of vaccine at least three months before joining.

The study will be recruiting candidates over the next four weeks and will be evaluating the safety as well as the immune response of the new jab.

Sajid Javid, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, stated that he wants the UK to be the best place for launching clinical trials, being a world leader in terms of research and development of medicines and vaccines and having a renowned life-sciences industry.

Javid has urged those who might be eligible in taking part in the research and play the part in protecting the nation’s future as people learn to live with the virus.

According to sources, Moderna’s collaboration with UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) signifies growing relations of the country with the biotech firm.

Last week, Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel met with the UK health secretary in Boston, amid rising speculations that Moderna is planning a substantial investment for a research and manufacturing hub in the UK.

The pharma major has already begun its trial for the Omicron vaccine in the United States, with Pfizer also in cue to begin a clinical trial for its own Omicron-targeting vaccine soon.

Moderna’s chief medical officer, Paul Burton, had recently stated that an autumn booster would likely provide combined protection against the two deadly variants of Covid; Delta and Omicron.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.