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18.08.20

Coronavirus vaccine trials reach over 100,000 registered volunteers

More than 100,000 people have now registered to take part in coronavirus vaccine trials, as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) calls for even more people to follow their lead and help speed up efforts to discover safe and effective vaccines.

The NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry will help large numbers of people be recruited into the trials over the coming months, potentially leading to effective vaccines being identified and made available to the UK population earlier than otherwise possible. The registry has been developed as part of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce, in partnership with NIHR, NHS Digital and the devolved governments.

In order 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 here.

People from all backgrounds, ages and regions of the UK, both with and without existing health conditions, are being sought by researchers to take part in vaccine studies, ensuring the most widespread testing of any vaccines developed and making certain they will work for everyone.

Research has already found certain groups of people are at a greater risk of catching the virus or suffering severe illness as a result, so those who are most likely to benefit from vaccines have been particularly invited to sign up; including those over the age of 65, frontline workers and those from BAME communities.

Clinical studies with a large and diverse volunteer group will help scientists and researchers better understand each vaccine’s effectiveness and 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 added: "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.”

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