Case study: "As a researcher I think it's important to take part in research..."
Jan Lecouturier is a health services researcher at Newcastle University working in the NIHR Policy Research Unit for Behavioural Science. Jan participated in the Novavax study and wants to share her experience...
How did you find out about the study?
A friend forwarded the information and I registered to take part - nice and simple.
Why did you decide to participate in the study?
As a researcher I think it’s important to take part in research. But more importantly the Covid-19 pandemic has had a far reaching impact, in the numbers who have died from it, for those who were infected and will have serious long term effects, and from the lockdown measures in terms of population mental health and domestic violence. I think it’s really important to do your bit. The lockdown measures haven’t managed to eradicate the virus and a vaccination seems to be the only way forward.
What has taking part involved?
My first visit was towards the end October. At that visit they first tested whether I currently had Covid-19. The test involved a nasal and throat swab. To be honest that was the bit I was dreading but it wasn’t too bad. The doctor doing the test was brilliant and explained what he was going to do. I then I had the injection which was fine. Before I could leave there was a short observation period to check I didn’t have an adverse reaction where I sat and had a cup of coffee and a biscuit (and read my book). At the next visit about a three weeks later I had the second vaccine. A Covid-19 test wasn’t needed that time but again I waited (with another coffee and a biscuit) to check everything was okay. I attended a week later for a blood test which was pretty quick, in-and-out. My most recent appointment was in February and it was a check up.
What would you say to other people thinking of taking part in vaccine research?
Although I’m just one of many taking part in the Novovax trial, it’s a good feeling to know you are helping in the Covid-19 battle. I was a little apprehensive before my first visit but the staff were so professional and put me at ease. Because of all of the news coverage about the vaccinations that are ready for use, it’s a concern that people think research is no longer needed and won’t take part in the research into the other vaccines being developed. We need to remember that several vaccines are needed to cope with the demand, and that different vaccines work better for different groups of people, and it’s crucial to support the ongoing vaccine trials. Don’t be afraid – take part!!!
To sign up to the NHS Vaccine Research registry visit: www.nhs.uk/researchcontact
To find our more about ongoing Covid-19 research visit: https://bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk