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Bristol residents wanted for coronavirus vaccine trials which could pay up to £390

Those living in areas in and around the city will be able to take part Credit: PA Images

A leading clinical trial testing a potential coronavirus vaccine is now looking to recruit hundreds more participants from Bristol.

Oxford University's Covid-19 vaccine trial launched last month, initially inviting people from London, Southampton, Bristol and the Thames Valley.

Only seven BS postcodes were eligible first time around but the study has now been expanded to more areas in and around the city.

Participants will be injected with one of two vaccines. Credit: PA Images

The latest phase will launch in Bristol today (Saturday), according to a statement issued by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust.

Participants will be paid up to £390 to take part in the study, which involves being injected with the vaccine candidate or a control substance used to protect against meningitis.

Only about 1,000 participants were sought nationally for phase one of the trial, and up to 150 from Bristol, but the study is now moving on to phase two and three involving up to 10,260 people.

Dr Rajeka Lazarus, a consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology at UHBW, said: "Those taking part in the trial will play a crucial role in the global search for a vaccine that protects us all, not least frontline NHS workers, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions."

Vaccines are the most effective way of controlling outbreaks and the international community has stepped up efforts towards developing one.

This vaccine aims to turn the virus’ most potent weapon, its spikes, against it – raising antibodies that stick to them allowing the immune system to lock onto and destroy the virus.

– Dr Rajeka Lazarus, a consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology at UHBW
The areas where people are eligible to participate in the trial. Credit: COVID 19 Oxford Vaccine Trial

Researchers at the trust are working alongside those at North Bristol NHS trust and the University of Bristol to lead the city's vaccine trials, which will be held at Bristol Children's Vaccine Centre.

Volunteers will be randomly allocated either the coronavirus vaccine or a meningitis vaccine that will be used for comparison.

Volunteers will be aged between 18 and 55, and this phase of the trial will assess how well the vaccine works to prevent people from becoming infected with COVID-19.

Participants will have between six and nine visits over a period of 12 months. Credit: PA Images

Participants must not have already had coronavirus and must not be pregnant or breastfeeding.

For this phase of the trial, those involved will have between six and nine visits over a period of 12 months, depending on if they are in Group 4 or Group 5.

People in Group 4 will get no payment for their time, but those in Group 5, who will have a more intense schedule according to the hospital trusts, will be compensated around £390.

More information about the research can be found on the study's website or via a new information document released by the hospital trusts this week.