Case study: 'It was so easy, I'd do it again' - Larissa's Research Story
Larissa's Research Story
Larissa is 21 and lives near Leek in Staffordshire. She is on the VALNEVA Covid-19 vaccine trial at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and has shared her experiences of what it is like to be involved in research.
What made you want to get involved in vaccine research?
I got a text from my GP about it. At the time there was no information about when young people would be getting vaccinated so I thought I may as well help out and get vaccinated at the same time.
Do you think that it's important for younger people to be involved in this kind of research?
Yes, I do.
What's involved in the research?
The first thing we had to do was a telephone screening make sure that you could go to the in person screening. On the first visit they did a physical examination and a blood test. If you're female you had to do a pregnancy test. If all of that is fine and you get the all clear you get a vaccination. Then four weeks later, I've just had my second vaccination. After that you have follow up appointments of blood tests. These are every few weeks at the start and then it turns into a few months for the following year, just to see how your immune system holds on to vaccination.
How have you found the process?
I think it's been really easy, you just turn up and it’s quite straightforward. It's simple to follow and they explain everything to you.
Did you have any concerns about being in a vaccine trial?
Personally, I didn’t. I feel like because I know a lot about science, by the time it gets to human trials it’s already been through so many [trials]. You're being monitored so it's just as safe as any other vaccine. You have to follow an e-Diary and fill it all in and if any of the symptoms say severe it tells you what to do. I feel like because you've got all those things in place, because it is a trial, it is just as safe as a vaccine that’s approved for the public.
Did anyone you know have any concerns about it?
I spoke to my parents about it but they are both similar to me. They know that it is already going to be quite safe before they give it to people so there wasn’t really any concerns.
If you were to promote this research to younger people, what kind of things would you say?
Targeting universities would help and I would stress that it is easy, it isnt any hassle and you get a feeling of satisfaction that you are helping out.
Would you participate in research again?
If I ever got offered a trial of anything again I would probably do it because I know how easy they are. I know that you’re not going to turn up and they just put a vaccine in you without checking you.
Interested in signing up to research? Find out more on the Be Part of Research website.
For Covid-19 vaccine trials, visit www.nhs.uk/researchcontact.