The doctor leading the study said it’s important to be ready just in case a booster shot is necessary.By Amy Wadas

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another COVID-19 vaccine trial is happening in Pittsburgh.

This time, it’s to study a booster shot and identify which combinations are safe and effective against coronavirus and its variants.

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Those trials are underway at UPMC’s University Center in Oakland. Dr. Judy Martin, the doctor leading the study, said it’s important to be ready just in case a booster shot is necessary.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Dr. Judy Martin also said Pitt’s School of Medicine, through the Pittsburgh Vaccine Trials Unit, is one of 12 sites across the U.S. selected to participate in a trial focused on boosters.

“We are trying to figure out first of all, are we going to need booster doses? No one knows for sure right now, and there’s no recommendation currently for booster doses,” said Dr. Martin.

That’s why Dr. Martin is working to pinpoint which vaccine works best and generates the best immune response.

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“It’s an adaptive design. So we will start by boosting individuals with Moderna mRNA vaccine. Then we will boost different individuals with Johnson & Johnson. Then we will boost individuals with the Pfizer vaccine,” said Dr. Martin.

The study is essentially broken up into two groups. One with 150 fully vaccinated adults and the other group is for 250 adults who have not gotten the vaccine.

Volunteers in the second group will receive the two-dose Moderna shot before getting a booster about 12 to 20 weeks later. Everyone participating must be over 18 years old.

Dr. Martin said she has enough vaccinated volunteers but still needs participants who haven’t gotten the shot yet.

“We do have a registry. As part of the Pittsburgh vaccine trials, there’s a registry that anyone interested in participating can go ahead and register,” said Dr. Martin.

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If you’re interested in registering, you can head here.