Case study: Reaping the rewards of research - Kirsty's Covid-19 vaccine story
Dr Kirsty Hunter, Research Operations Manager at the Clinical Research Network West Midlands received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on 22 December. Kirsty, who lives in Halesowen with her family, says:
‘Having spent the last nine months of my job supporting the urgent set up and delivery of Covid-19 trials I was delighted to be invited for my appointment to receive the vaccine. Protection from Covid-19 was an early Christmas present and getting the vaccine was a poignant moment after our amazing team at the Clinical Research Network West Midlands had been working tirelessly throughout the year setting up and ensuring the successful delivery of Covid-19 trials.
‘I thoroughly appreciate the dedication and commitment of research teams, scientists and NHS staff in getting to this point. Staff have worked around the clock to ensure that their part of the process can be completed as quickly as possible and no corners have been cut.
‘The vaccine registry has also meant that a pool of volunteers has already been identified to take part in these trials. It is an amazing achievement to get a vaccine in less than a year that is 95% effective.
‘A huge amount of research is underway to identify effective COVID-19 vaccines, in partnership between the UK Government, NHS, industry and other organisations, in the shortest time possible, so that they can be deployed to protect the public.
‘Large numbers of people are being asked to volunteer to join these trials, and it is important that volunteers represent the population as a whole so that we can be confident that a vaccine/s will work for everyone, including older people, people with other health conditions, and people from all ethnic backgrounds. Over 26,000 people in our region have already signed up, but we still need more.’
The NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry at www.nhs.uk/researchcontact has been developed to make it easy for people to volunteer, giving permission to be contacted with information on the new COVID-19 vaccine studies, and to be invited to join.