Team at Imperial College London will expand MELODY study to include immunosuppressed young people

Immunosuppressed transplant recipients between the ages of 12 to 17-years-old have been added to the MELODY study population, which analyses how well additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine protects immunosuppressed people.

The research project was first launched in December 2021 to evaluate third doses in adult patients and was supported by a coalition of funders including Kidney Research UK, The Medical Research Council, Blood Cancer UK, Vasculitis UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

The team at Imperial College London will now expand the MELODY study to include immunosuppressed young people who have had an organ transplant, to assess the levels of protection the vaccines offer to immunosuppressed people across age groups.

Dr Michelle Willicombe, the study lead at Imperial College London, commented: “Information on how young, immunosuppressed people have responded to vaccination and the protection it affords them from infection is currently 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: “We are starting to build a clearer picture on how vaccination has provided varying levels of protection within the immunosuppressed community, but we still have very little data on how well vaccines protect the younger members of this group.

“There cannot be a one size fits all approach to keeping all immunocompromised people safe and including the data from this age group will allow for more effective strategies to be developed,” she added.