FIVE hundred volunteers are needed in Greater Manchester and East Cheshire volunteers to join a leading phase three Covid-19 vaccine study taking place in the region.
The study will test the safety and effectiveness of a promising new vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, across a broad spectrum of people, including those from a variety age groups and backgrounds.
Phase three studies involve many thousands of people, giving researchers insights into the effects of a vaccine on a much larger population than phase one and two studies.
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust is among the sites selected to undertake the Novavax study. It will be carried out in a community setting, in co-operation with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester.
Calling on some of the thousands of volunteers who have joined the fight against Covid-19 by signing-up to the NHS Vaccine Registry, the phase three trials are the second to commence in the UK.
A total of 10,000 volunteers are needed to take part in the trials which will also be undertaken at a number of NIHR regional sites across the UK, including Lancashire, the Midlands, London, Glasgow and Belfast.
At Stockport, 500 volunteers are needed. Volunteers who sign up to the registry and live in Stockport, East Cheshire and South East Manchester could potentially take part.
The registry was launched in July to help create a database of people who consent to be contacted by the NHS to take part in clinical studies, to help speed up the development of a safe and effective vaccine.
More than 250,000 people nationally have now signed up, including 26,785 in the North West and 11,955 in Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.
With several more studies for potential vaccine candidates expected to start before the end of the year, UK researchers are calling for additional volunteers to sign up to take part in research.
To better understand the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and help find a vaccine that works for as many people as soon as possible, researchers are particularly seeking more volunteers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as well as those with underlying health conditions and the over 65s.
Professor Andrew Ustianowski, NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) national specialty lead for infection and NIHR CRN Greater Manchester deputy clinical director, said: “This launch represents a landmark in the fight against Covid-19 and our Greater Manchester research community is proud to be contributing to this important vaccine study.
“We are really grateful to the thousands of people who have signed up to the vaccine registry so far. It is important we keep this up and that more people from across our range of Greater Manchester communities join the registry because we are going to need large numbers of volunteers to get involved in testing the vaccines.
“We need a really good mix of people of different ages and ethnicities, and people with and without existing health problems. This will help identify vaccines that work for everyone.”
The UK public can support the national effort to speed up vaccine research and receive more information about volunteering for clinical studies by visiting www.nhs.uk/researchcontact.