Volunteers needing for South West Covid Study

People over the age of 65, those suffering with long-term illness, along with volunteers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are being specifically asked to take part.

Five hundred people in the South West are needed to take part in a new Covid-19 vaccination trial, with researchers appealing for those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to come forward.

More than 9,000 people across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset have already signed up for 19 studies through the NHS Vaccines Registry.

But the trial needs more volunteers from BAME backgrounds and those who have long-term health conditions to test the third phase of the new Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

Boris Johnson committed £500 million in aid funding for the Covax vaccines procurement pool to help poor countries access a coronavirus jab. Credit: PA

We are delighted to be able to offer people in the South West the opportunity to participate in this important and exciting research. We have all been effected by Covid 19 in differing ways and we look forward to contributing towards what we hope will be an effective vaccine to enable recovery from this devastating epidemic.

Dr Thomas Burden, Vaccine Lead for the NIHR Clinical Research Network South West

The US biotechnology drug company needs a broader spectrum of people than those who took part in phase one and two of the trials.

Those who take part will be asked to attend the Exeter Nightingale Hospital.

The Novavax vaccine is made up of an engineered Covid-19 spike protein which is designed to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralising antibodies.

Half of the study participants will receive the trial COVID-19 vaccine, delivered in two doses, and half will receive a placebo, also delivered in two doses. None of the participants are aware if they are receiving the vaccine or a placebo and those involved will make around six visits to their local trial centre over 13 months. 

It takes approximately five minutes to sign up. Anyone living in the UK is allowed to take part, and volunteers can withdraw at anytime.

More information can be found: NHS.UK/researchcontact