Clinical trials led by the Vaccine Institute at St George’s have enabled a dual-strain Covid vaccine to be approved. The UK is the first country to approve this type of vaccine which tackles both the original Covid virus and the newer Omicron variant.

The Vaccine Institute at St George’s was the lead site for the trial investigating this new Moderna Omicron booster vaccine compared with the original Moderna Spikevax vaccine. Working closely with the Vaccine taskforce at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), over 2,800 participants were recruited from across 26 sites in the UK.

Results from the study show the new vaccine produces a significantly higher antibody response against Omicron variants, when compared with Moderna’s original Spikevax vaccine.

Sajid Javid, then Secretary of State for Health, along with Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, recently met the staff at our Vaccine Institute and Clinical Research Facility to thank them for all the hard work with the vaccine research programme.

Dr Catherine Cosgrove, Adult Lead at the Vaccine Institute at St George’s, was the Chief Investigator of the clinical trial, co-ordinating the 26 sites and working closely with the whole team including Professor Heath, Director for the Vaccine Institute.

Dr Cosgrove said: “This is fantastic news for all of the participants and research staff involved in the Moderna Omicron booster study. The efforts from everyone who has taken part have helped provide extremely useful data when it comes to understanding how we can protect people against infections as we look towards the winter.

“This approval is a testament to all of the hard work of running the innovative study across the UK this year. I would particularly thank all our wonderful volunteers for coming forward selflessly to help with the research for the benefit of society.”

Congratulations to all involved.