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Over 100,000 volunteers now registered for COVID-19 vaccine trials

 

As the number of people registered to take part in COVID-19 vaccine trials has now topped 100,000, we are encouraging others to follow their lead to help speed up efforts to discover safe and effective vaccines.

The NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry will help large numbers of people to be recruited into the trials over the coming months, potentially leading to effective vaccines being identified and made available to the UK public against coronavirus earlier. It has been developed as part of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce, in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS Digital, and the Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Governments. 

To enable large-scale vaccine studies to take place across the UK, the aim is to get as many people as possible signed up by October. The register can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/researchcontact 

Researchers are looking for people from all backgrounds, ages and parts of the UK, including both people with or without existing health conditions, to take part in vaccine studies, to make sure that any vaccines developed will work for everyone. Research has found that certain groups of people are more likely to catch the virus or suffer severe illness as a result, so those who are most likely to benefit from vaccines are particularly invited to sign up. These include over the 65s, frontline workers and those from the black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.

Clinical studies with a large and diverse group of volunteers will help scientists and researchers better understand the effectiveness of each vaccine and will considerably speed up efforts to discover safe and workable vaccines.

Chief Executive of the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network Dr William van’t Hoff said:

“I’m really grateful to the volunteers who have signed up to the NHS vaccine registry so that we have reached the important milestone of 100,000 people registered in less than a month. I also want to praise the staff from the research community, NIHR and NHS, who have worked so well in partnership to achieve rapid recruitment into trials to tackle COVID-19. I would encourage everyone who hasn’t already signed up to look at the website and consider whether they would like to join the register, before the large-scale vaccine trials start in the coming weeks.”

Consultant Respiratory Physician and Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) PRC, Bradford, Dinesh Saralaya said:

"The best way to protect us from future outbreaks is to develop effective vaccines. Several vaccine trials are being conducted around the UK in the coming months and it is important that we all sign up to be contacted about them.

"By working together, we can produce efficient vaccines which are likely to protect all sections of our society from this dreadful virus in future.”

Eighteen-year-old Marium Zumeer from Bradford, who was hospitalised after contracting COVID-19, has first-hand experience of the benefits of taking part in clinical trials. During her time in intensive care, she was offered the opportunity to take part in the national RECOVERY trial, which is testing a range of potential treatments for COVID-19. This includes the drug dexamethasone, which was found to be the first drug to be effective when treating those who are critically ill with the virus.

RECOVERY trial volunteer Marium Zumeer said:

"I will always be grateful for being encouraged to sign up. I remember my dad at the time urging me to take part, not just for myself but for the wider community. The result has been really positive for me and I would encourage others to do their bit in helping us all in the fight against coronavirus."

The service is available to anyone aged 18 or over, living in the UK. To register, people fill in some personal and contact details, and answer a series of basic health screening questions on an NHS.UK website form. The service is highly secure, with personal data and permissions held in a NHS system managed by NHS Digital, the national organisation responsible for IT in the health and social care system.

There is no obligation to take part in any study and people who sign up can change their mind and remove their contact details from the registry at any time.

To find out more, visit: www.nhs.uk/researchcontact. More information about taking part in research and other opportunities to take part in COVID-19 research can be found at www.bepartofresearch.uk