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Seattle area volunteers needed for COVID-19 vaccine booster trial

The study aims to learn the effectiveness of COVID-19 booster shots.

SEATTLE — Volunteers are being sought in the Seattle area for a nationwide clinical trial that hopes to learn the possible benefits of pairing booster doses from different COVID-19 vaccines.

The study is being conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) and eight other research centers across the U.S.

The trial is currently looking for roughly 400 healthy adults who have either been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have not initiated their vaccination process.

The first group, which will be comprised of 250 participants, will include adults who have not received any COVID-19 vaccine. This group will receive two doses of the Moderna vaccine and then, roughly three months after the second dost, they will receive a booster dose from a different COVID-19 vaccine.

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The second group will have 150 individuals who have been fully vaccinated in the past five months. This group will receive a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine.

“The question is whether giving different types of COVID-19 vaccines can induce a more effective immune response,” said Dr. Lisa A. Jackson, who is leading the trial in Seattle.

The need for booster shots after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine depends somewhat on whether the immune protection afforded by the vaccines diminishes over time. However, boosters may become more useful if new variants of the coronavirus appear that are more resistant to the current vaccines.

“It will be a while before we know whether protection from the vaccine is seriously diminished with a longer duration of time from completion of the primary shots, but we certainly are getting prepared for boosters by doing this trial,” said Jackson.

Those hoping to participate in the trial should know that it requires as many as nine visits to the KPWHRI downtown Seattle research clinic over the course of a year. Participants will receive $75 for every clinic visit they complete.

The trial will run through 2025 and could be altered if more vaccines become approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Anyone who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine and is interested in the study can email the study team at KPWA.vaccine@kp.org. Seattle-are residents interesting in participating in any current or future COVID-19 studies can join the KPWHRI vaccine registry by clicking here.