Share article:
Share article:

Wanted: Volunteers to test vaccine cocktail

© Julia Koblitz for Unsplash

Scientists at the University of Antwerp are urgently looking for volunteers from the public, to be vaccinated with a mixture of the available vaccines.

The experiment is looking at one way to combat the recent changes to the supply of approved vaccines – uncertain deliveries in the case of Johnson & Johnson, and cancellation by the EU of AstraZeneca.

The vaccines have also encountered difficulties with side effects, leading to age restrictions.

Candidates for the testing will be 18-55 years old and in good general health. Candidates aged 40-55 are particularly sought-after, as the younger age group is normally filled rapidly with students and others, while the older group is approaching the time when they would be vaccinated by the normal procedure.

Katie Steenackers, a research physician who supervises the participants, explained the experiment to Gazet van Antwerpen.

We want to compare the effects of different combinations with Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. A first Pfizer vaccine with a second Moderna, for example, or a first AstraZeneca with a second Pfizer, both at the normal interval and with a longer delay. This could be an advantage if a certain brand is not available at a certain time, because the production and delivery of vaccines is a delicate process,” she said.

Also think of the third booster in question: which one should or could it be? We suspect that flexible mixtures are possible, as is, incidentally, used in Great Britain and Spain without prior research. That way we can move faster worldwide.”

Female candidates should be using a reliable method of contraception for at least one month before the experiment until one month after. The whole test lasts for one year and involves six visits.

Those who should not apply include pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone who has been infected with Covid-19, anyone who has already been vaccinated at least once, persons with drugs or alcohol problems, immune issues or other serious conditions. Participants who are signed up will receive compensation of €60 per visit at the end of the experiment in August 2022.

Details, in Dutch only, at the centre’s website.

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...