A COVID-19 vaccine trial centre in Hartlepool is among the first to be offering its participants a booster vaccine.
Earlier this year the study found that the vaccine was 89% effective in protecting against the virus – but there have been delays in guidance for its official use.
With all of the study participants having received both vaccine shots but soon needing a booster jab, the Department of Health and Social Care announced last week that all participants will be offered the option of either a booster or two doses of the Pfizer jab with an eight week interval between them.
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 these vaccines.
“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.
“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.”