URMC looking for volunteers to participate in mix and match vaccine study

Monroe County

FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2020, file photo, Pat Moore, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before administering it to emergency medical workers and health care personnel at the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester, Pa. Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12. The company released the preliminary findings Tuesday, May 25, 2021, based on testing on more than 3,700 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is participating in a new clinical trial that will mix-and-match different COVID-19 vaccines.

According to URMC, as of now, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines appear to be very effective against most of the identified variants of COVID-19. However, officials say it is possible that variants could emerge that make existing vaccines less effective or potentially even eliminate the protection vaccines altogether.

The new phase 1/2 clinical trial, which is being funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will recruit two groups of volunteers:

  • Individuals 18 years or older who have not yet been vaccinated
  • Individuals 18 years or older who have completed their initial vaccination within the last 12-20 weeks. 

Unvaccinated participants will receive the Moderna vaccine and then a booster dose of either the same vaccine or a Moderna variant vaccine 12 weeks later. Volunteers who have already been vaccinated with the either the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will receive a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine. 

The study seeks to enroll 500 participants in the U.S., including 50 local volunteers. 

“One of the key scientific question we are trying to answer is whether vaccines that use different platforms – such as mRNA, adenovirus, and protein-based – can sufficiently strengthen the original immune response generated by a different vaccine technology,” Angela Branche, M.D., co-director of the URMC Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit said in a statement.

The goal is to show that if the immune response to COVID and variants can been prolonged by booster doses, regardless of the manufacturer, then vaccination plans can potentially be different in future years.

For more information about the study, visit: Bring Roc Back or call (585) 273-3990.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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