One of the most common questions about the COVID-19 vaccination is how long does it last. Let’s look at research into a COVID booster jab.

As Winter is considered the most likely time coronavirus will spike again, there’s a lot of discussion about whether an Autumn COVID booster jab will be needed. Similar to the annual flu injection.

The UK Government has funded a project to explore the best way to sustain immunity to COVID-19. It’s the first study of its kind in the world, following on from the other ways our scientific and medical community has led the way on tackling the pandemic.

£19.3 million of Government funding has been invested in the ‘Cov-Boost Study’, under the management of the Vaccines Taskforce.

When will the results be known?

The research involves thousands of volunteers. It’s designed to yield important information on whether a booster jab will be worthwhile, and the impact it will have on sustaining if not improving immunity levels.

As you would expect, the side effects of having a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be carefully monitored too.

The Government has said: “The initial findings, expected in September, will help inform decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on plans for a booster programme from autumn this year, ensuring the country’s most vulnerable are given the strongest possible protection over the winter period.”

The data generated will be dispensed globally, to help other countries in their research and decision making.

Does this mean an Autumn booster is needed?

Though this is not set in stone, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has indicated that it’s likely.

He said: “The data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year.”

It’s important to note that not everyone involved in the COVID vaccine development and rollout is certain that this ‘booster jab’ is necessary. According to a report in the British Medical Journal the clinical trials lead for the vaccine (and director of the Oxford Vaccine Group) has stated: “There’s no indication today that we need boosters. It is something where we need to keep looking at the data and make decisions as the months go by.”

If you have any concerns about COVID-19 and your health as the year progresses, the team at the Oval Medical Centre London will be happy to help.

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