COVID-19 Vaccine Research update at CAPRISA
A year after embarking on the Ensemble J&J trial, the CAPRISA eThekwini and Vulindlela clinical research teams are once again about to embark on a landmark study. The Ubuntu COVPN 3008 trial will assess a 2-dose versus a 3-dose regimen of the Moderna mRNA vaccine among people living with HIV in South Africa and 7 other sub-Saharan African countries. This is the first time the Moderna vaccine will enter clinical trials in Africa. Over 400 participants have been screened for trial participation at CAPRISA and enrolment into the trial will start imminently.
In the Ensemble trial, study participants remain in follow-up a year into the trial. All trial participants will be offered a second dose of vaccine at their Year 1 visit. This decision was made following the release of the Ensemble 2 trial data, which showed that a second dose of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine induces robust immune responses when administered at least 2 months after the first dose.
Similarly, healthcare workers who were vaccinated with the J&J vaccine as part of the Sisonke trial earlier in 2021 will be eligible to receive a second dose of the vaccine. The Sisonke 2 study is planned to start on 8 November 2021 in collaboration with the Department of Health. Finally, the BaSiS (Boosting after Sisonke) study will assess homologous versus heterologous dosing strategies with the J&J vaccine and the COV3003 study will evaluate optimal dosing strategies for the J&J vaccine. Both studies will be commencing shortly at the CAPRISA eThekwini CRS.
In the photo: Seated left, CAPRISA’s Dr Nigel Garrett Head of Vaccine & Pathogenesis & Dr Nivashnee Naicker, Research Clinician with a participant.