Volunteers wanted from Yorkshire and Humber for new coronavirus vaccine trial in Barnsley

Credit: PA

A new Covid-19 vaccine trial is looking for volunteers from Yorkshire and the Humber to take part.

The Valneva Phase 2/3 study will be run at the Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust and is open to healthy adults who have not previously had a coronavirus vaccine.

Participants will either be given the Valneva vaccine or the approved AstraZeneca vaccine as long as they are over the age of 30, anyone under the age of 30 will only be given the Valneva jab.

The trial is being backed by The National Institute for Health Research and will include 4,000 people at other sites across the UK.

Professor Anil Hormis, Principle Investigator on the Valneva study at Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust said: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had a huge focus on participating in the Urgent Public Health research studies to ensure our patients had access to all the latest treatments.

"In this next phase, I am really pleased that we are involved in COVID-19 vaccine research. We have set up a research collaboration between Rotherham and Barnsley NHS Trusts.

"We are excited that in May, we will start recruiting patients to the Valneva study and help evaluate another vaccine that can be used to protect our patients in Rotherham and Barnsley."

Around 50% of the population have been given one of the three approved vaccines so far in the UK. Credit: PA

If the vaccine is shown to be safe and effective Valneva have said that they aim to make the jab available for approval in the autumn; the government has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.

Professor Adam Finn, Chief Investigator for the Valneva study said: "Following very encouraging safety and immune response results from our phase 1 study, along with my investigator colleagues, I am really looking forward to starting on this important next stage of the clinical development of this important new vaccine.

"We definitely need more vaccines to help us out of this pandemic and this one is a very promising candidate."

The Valneva vaccine is the only coronavirus vaccine to use a "whole virus, inactivated, adjuvanted vaccine" which the company say should make it suitable for booster jabs against any new variants in the future.

Thomas Lingelbach, Chief Executive Officer of Valneva, said: "As COVID-19 continues to impact people's daily lives, Valneva remains fully focused on developing another safe and efficacious vaccine solution.

"The world needs multiple vaccines and we believe that ours has an important role to play - including boosters or potential modifications to address variants.

"The initiation of this trial marks a significant milestone in the development of the only inactivated vaccine candidate against COVID-19 in clinical trials in Europe."