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Case study: Macclesfield grandmother pleased to be part of COVID-19 community research trial

Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against COVID-19 in Older People (PRINCIPLE).

Local health leaders and researchers from the National Institute for Health Research are appealing for people with typical Covid-19 symptoms to take part in the community-based clinical trial called PRINCIPLE

Toni Symons agreed to take part in the PRINCIPLE study after contacting her GP with some typical COVID symptoms. She had a high temperature and felt very achy.

The 56-year-old, who has some well-managed underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, later lost her sense of smell.

She also developed a persistent cough, which she still has two months later, and remains short of her usual energy - sometimes needing to take an hour’s nap after going food shopping.

Mrs Symons, from Macclesfield, tested positive for COVID-19 and was randomised to receive the PRINCIPLE trial drug called azithromycin, which is a commonly used antibiotic.

Her participation involved taking a tablet twice a day for three days and completing a 28-day online diary of how she was feeling.

PRINCIPLE is the first research study that Mrs Symons has been involved with. She has encouraged others who meet the criteria and are experiencing COVID symptoms to consider taking part.

“I was very happy to say ‘yes’ after the GP talked me through what the study involved,” says Mrs Symons, a mum-of-three and grandmother-of-five.

“With COVID being such a big problem, it’s more important than ever that we find out as much as we can so we can move forward.

“The more people who can get involved in studies like this, the more researchers can learn and identify treatments that work.”

How do I get involved? 

Researchers from the study are working with GP surgeries, care homes, NHS111 and ambulance services right across the country to help their patients take part. Currently over 50 GP practices across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire are recruiting patients on to the trial.

Local residents who meet the criteria can still self-enrol in the study, even if your GP practice is not directly recruiting - visit the PRINCIPLE website for more information. You can also telephone the study team on 0800 138 0880 to ask questions and for further information.

Further details about the study can be found at: