MELODY study update to include immunocompromised young people
We are pleased to share that we are funding an extension to the MELODY study to understand how well immunocompromised young people are protected against Covid-19 after vaccination.
What is the MELODY study?
Back in December, we shared details of the MELODY study that we are funding alongside the Medical Research Council, Blood Cancer UK, Vasculitis UK, and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, with support from NHS Digital, NHS Blood and Transplant and the Department of Health and Social care. This study is investigating how well third doses of the Covid-19 vaccine protect immunocompromised adult patients, including those with cancer, autoimmune diseases, and kidney and other organ transplants.
Patients taking part in the study are given a home-based, self-administered test which requires a drop of blood from a thumb or finger prick to see if they have developed antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19.
Are immunocompromised young people vulnerable to Covid-19?
Some small studies have suggested that immunocompromised young people (aged 12–17) mount a stronger response to Covid-19 vaccination than older immunosuppressed adults, but this group is still thought to be more vulnerable than the general population.
Towards the end of 2021, with the emergence of the Omicron variant, the UK government announced an update to the Covid-19 vaccine guidance, stating that immunosuppressed young people (12–17 years old) should have a booster dose of vaccine 3 months after their primary course.
Updating the study to include young transplant recipients
With our additional funding, the team at Imperial College London are now expanding the MELODY study to include immunosuppressed young people (aged 12–17) who have had an organ transplant and at least three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr Michelle Willicombe, study lead said: “Information on how young immunosuppressed people have responded to vaccination and the protection it affords them from infection is lacking, so we are delighted for the additional support so we can include children in MELODY to provide ongoing evidence.”
If we can understand more about how this group of people respond to vaccines, then this will inform future vaccination strategies and also identify those young people who are most at risk of catching Covid-19.
Dr Aisling McMahon, executive director of research, innovation and policy at Kidney Research UK said: “This extension to the MELODY study aims to understand the antibody status of immunocompromised young transplant recipients who have received at least three doses of vaccine. This will provide vital information about how well the vaccines are working in this group, as well as identifying those individuals who may benefit from additional treatments as they become available.
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