Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial participants to be offered top-up doses

13 October 2021

People who have participated in vaccine clinical trials in England are being offered the option to get additional vaccine doses to ensure they can travel abroad to countries which currently only accept vaccination records with approved for deployment Covid-19 vaccinations.

Following consultation with medical experts and the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), for the purpose of domestic and international certification the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that the UK will recognise those who are in Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials as fully vaccinated.

Those participants in Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials who have not had a vaccine that is approved for deployment will now be given the opportunity to receive two additional doses of an approved vaccine to allow them to have the necessary certification status to travel abroad to countries that don’t currently recognise trial vaccinations.

Additional doses will initially be offered to participants of the Novavax trial. The DHSC said this includes the vast majority of people in ongoing trials for vaccines not yet approved for deployment. These participants will be offered two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with an eight-week interval between first and second doses.

The offer will be extended to participants in other relevant trials within the coming weeks.

Under this new approach, people who have received both doses of a vaccine as part of a clinical trial will also be offered a booster jab, if eligible in line with the wider boosters advice from the JCVI, to ensure the protection they received as part of the trial is prolonged over the winter months.

Most other countries currently do not recognise clinical trial volunteers and require visitors to have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved for deployment by the relevant medicines regulator.

The DHSC announcement is here.