Booster shot trials underway, NE doctor hopeful

OMAHA, Neb. - Clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 booster shot are happening right here in Nebraska.

Dr. Brandon Essink with Meridian Clinical Research said they started trials in June with patients they worked with last summer.

"Just to see, does it change the level of antibodies, how fast do they go up," said Dr. Essink. "Kind of like what we do with flu shots, we give a booster every year."

Dr. Essink says soon the trials will pair different vaccines with different boosters to see if they can work together.

Meanwhile, Meridian Trials in Hastings and Norfolk are working with children and pregnant women to gather more information on vaccines trying to get Emergency Use Authorization. 

"Everything that we're seeing so far looks pretty good," said Dr. Essink. "We may not need to have a booster, but we can't say that for sure yet. I'm hoping we don't have to. It'd be great if we don't have to."

Dr. Essink says they are working with vaccines like Novavax, Medicago, and Sanofi that are gearing up for EUA approval.

Currently, over the past year, Meridian has worked with around 5,000 fully-dosed Nebraska participants.

Dr. Essink urges Nebraskans to keep it up.

"The percentage of people that have gone through the trials is amazing," said Dr. Essink.