Trial to test if booster shots keep COVID-19 at bay

With variants becoming the new dominant COVID-19 strains around the world, a UW Medicine trial will test the safety and effectiveness of booster vaccine shots for fully vaccinated people.

Will we all need a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to keep the virus away? Scientists with the UW Medicine Virology Research Clinic are hoping you can help them answer that looming question.

UW Medicine is one of 12 sites in the country launching an NIH-sponsored trial to test the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. The trial will mix-and-match types of doses for participants, by administering a single booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That will include participants who’ve previously received either two Pfizer or Moderna doses or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Everyone involved will be routinely monitored for about a year after receiving the booster dose.

“We just want to be ready for whatever this virus throws at us,” says Dr. Christine Johnston, principal investigator and an associate professor of medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“We want to have the evidence about whether boosters are effective or not,” says Johnston. “Right now, I think we still need a lot more data to understand when to get boosters, how to get them, how to phase them, the timing.  And so that is exactly what this trial is trying to address.”

To be eligible for the trial, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 12 weeks ago; or be willing to receive an initial COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the booster
  • Have not tested positive for COVID-19
  • Not be currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not have a history of serious reactions to vaccines

Click here to find more information on how to participate, along with compensation amounts tied to the trial.

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Written and produced by Zach Garcia, UW Medicine Media Relations

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Gregg,, 206.390.3226

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Tags:COVID-19COVID-19 variants

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