A VOLUNTEER says he feels honoured to have been given a coronavirus vaccine “boost” jab as part of a world-leading trial.

Alan Street was given the extra dose as part of a test at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Health experts fear that with new variants of Covid-19 emerging throughout the world, the most vulnerable could need a “top-up” of the vaccine before winter.

Variants of the disease have emerged in Kent, India, Brazil and South Africa since the beginning of the crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly thinking about pausing plans for a “full reopening” set for June 21 as cases of the Delta variant continue to rise.

Here in Brighton, the Cov-Boost study was launched as part of a £19 million research plan from the Vaccines Taskforce, led by the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

It is hoped results from the 100 volunteers who have been given the “top-up” vaccine dose will be available for scientists in September.

Alan Street, who works as a resuscitation services lead at the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, was the first person at the Trust to step forward and take his shot in the arm.

He said: “I feel honoured to have been the first person from this area to take part in this trial. “Everything went well and the team here are just brilliant. I have had my two vaccines a while ago so this is my third and I didn’t even feel it. I am just proud to have taken part.

The Argus: Brighton hospital worker Alan Street joined the trial study into the extra coronavirus vaccine "booster" jabBrighton hospital worker Alan Street joined the trial study into the extra coronavirus vaccine "booster" jab

“When I got a message on my phone about this study and asking to see if wanted to see if I was eligible to take part, I enrolled as soon as I could.

“If people have the chance to take part in a study which could help patients, staff, everyone, feel safer - then why not get involved?

“If people are fit and healthy and eligible, I would say, ‘come and get the booster’.”

Scientists are studying how effective the current doses of the vaccine are and for how long.

The trial will give scientists from around the globe and the experts behind the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme a better idea of the impact of a booster dose of each vaccine in protecting people from the virus.

The initial findings will help inform decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on plans for a booster programme from autumn this year to make sure our most vulnerable are given protection before winter.

The site in Brighton is looking to vaccinate 148 people. The study is open to those aged 30 years and over, who received their first Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020 or January 2021, and who have also received their second dose booster.

The Argus: The Royal Sussex County Hospital in BrightonThe Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton

University Hospitals Sussex research director Professor Martin Llewelyn said: “It is so exciting that locally people in Sussex can be involved in this really important trial.

“A trial that will help shape the UK’s booster vaccine campaign against Covid-19 and protect all of us from any future wave.

“We have recruited a lot of people already but we are open to more people getting involved. So, if people are interested, please go on to the COV-BOOST website and register your interest to volunteer in this fantastic study.”

For more information visit: www.covboost.org.uk/home