Will Children Need COVID-19 Booster Jabs?

Tim Locke

September 17, 2021

Oxford's Com-COV 'mix-and-match' vaccination study is being expanded from adults to 12 to 16-year-olds.

This age group has only just been approved for vaccination by the UK's chief medical officers, while fully vaccinated adults are already starting to receive booster jabs.

The Com-COV 3 trial comparing COVID-19 vaccine schedule combinations is funded by the Vaccines Taskforce and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is recruiting 360 participants.

Previously unvaccinated volunteers will receive two doses in the study, starting with Pfizer/BioNTech.

Those who have already received a Pfizer dose through the NHS can join the study when their second dose is due.

The single blind study will see randomised second doses allocated as either:

  • A full dose or half dose of Pfizer

  • A full dose of Novavax

  • A half dose of Moderna

Immune responses and side effects will be monitored for each combination.

Vital Information

Chief Investigator, Professor Matthew Snape, said in a statement: "This study will provide vital information on the range of options for immunising teenagers against COVID-19 in the UK."

He added: "This will provide the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] with information crucial to informing their advice about immunising teenagers in the UK."

NIHR Clinical Lead for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, Professor Andrew Ustianowski, said: "It is important to establish the most effective vaccine doses for different population groups, and this latest study will help develop our understanding of immune responses for young people once vaccinated against COVID-19."

Initial results are expected by December to allow regulators to assess the findings for safety and efficacy before making operational decisions.


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