Here's What We Know About The New Omicron-Specific Covid Vaccine

UK scientists are looking for 3,000 volunteers to trial the vaccine targeting Omicron.
franckreporter via Getty Images

UK scientists are looking for volunteers to trial a new Omicron-specific vaccine for Covid.

Clinical trials will be starting in the next few days with around 3,000 volunteers needed in coming weeks.

The research will be led by a team at St George’s Hospital in London, with up to 29 hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales set to take part.

Those who choose to volunteer will receive half a dose of Moderna’s current booster and the rest will be the biotech company’s new jab which contain genetic material for the Omicron variant.

“The UK is a world leader when it comes to the research and development of vaccines and medicines, bolstered by our renowned life-sciences industry,” health secretary Sajid Javid said of the new vaccine trials.

“I urge anyone eligible to take part in this vital research and play their part in protecting the country for years to come as we learn to live with Covid-19.”

In the US, Moderna has already started a trial of the Omicron vaccine. Pfizer will start its own clinical trial for Omicron also.

The latest daily case figures show 46,186 people testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, with a weekly case figure of 368,880 down 27.6% from the previous seven days. The rate of infection per 100,000 people is currently 642.2.

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the Zoe Covid Study, recently the Omicron wave has peaked.

“The Zoe data suggests the Omicron wave has peaked, and cases are starting to come down in almost all regions of the UK. Hospitalisation, deaths and early data on the severity of Omicron is also looking positive,” Spector said.

Though we’ve reached the peak we are seeing more reinfections. ONS data highlights the rate of Covid reinfection has increased since the arrival of Omicron.

Those wanting to volunteer for the Omicron vaccine trial must have been Covid free since the beginning of November 2021. Additionally, you will need to have had your last Covid vaccine dose at least three months prior to the trial.

Recruitment for volunteers will be ongoing for the next four weeks.