A doctors group is questioning the ethics of a partnership between Moderna and NHS centres around England in a clinical trial of a new mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for children and adults over 12.
Doctors from HART, an organisation that was set up to share concerns about policy relating to COVID-19, have expressed concerns about the trial as they believe COVID-19 vaccine boosters are unlikely benefit to children. Furthermore, they have also questioned payment incentives.
In June, NextCOVE, a Phase 3 clinical trial conducted by Moderna, commenced. This was to study a new investigational vaccine as a booster dose in children and adults to “learn more about how it works in the body.”
Participants were chosen at random to receive either the investigational booster dose of mRNA-1283.222 or mRNA-1273.222.
“You or your child, along with approximately 10,748 other individuals, will be helping researchers learn more about Moderna’s latest investigational vaccine that may help protect people from getting sick if they come into contact with the virus,” wrote Moderna.
“You or your child’s participation could contribute to a potential solution to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the entire world,” it added.
The trial lasts around 13 months and includes up to six trial site visits and three safety phone calls. Participants have the right to drop out of the trial at any time and for any reason.
The NextCOVE Study was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) in March.
HART has raised concerns regarding payments during the trials. According to the NHS, some clinical trials offer payment, while some do not, while others just cover travel expenses.
HART saw a WhatsApp message that appears to show a paediatrician at the Royal London Hospital Children’s Clinical Research Facility at Barts Health NHS Trust offering £1,500 on completion of the study.