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Case study: Taking part in COVID-19 research: Andrew’s story

Taking part in COVID-19 research: Andrew's story

Oxfordshire’s Andrew Nixey took antiviral drug molnupiravir as part of a University of Oxford trial after testing positive for COVID-19.

Mr Nixey, a director of an asbestos removal company, believes he caught COVID from a folk gig in Bristol, where he did not wear a face covering.

He said: “It was quite a small venue on a boat which had ventilation but I guess it wasn’t as good as a normal building would be.”

Three days later the avid Liverpool fan, who has had two vaccines and a booster, travelled to Anfield to watch his team face Aston Villa.

He said: “What I found strange was, on the concourse bit where you get your cups of tea and something to eat, you’re advised to wear a mask but people don’t wear masks because they’re eating and drinking.

“I woke up on the Sunday morning and felt really groggy, full of cold, and thought I’d better do a lateral flow test just to check. To my surprise, it came back with the two lines.

“I booked a PCR, cancelled my plans for the next day or so and then got a text on the Monday morning to say that was positive as well.”

The NIHR-supported Platform Adaptive trial of NOvel antiviRals for eArly treatMent of COVID-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) trial looked at whether antiviral drugs can improve symptoms in people aged over 50 or with underlying health conditions.

The 53-year-old, vocalist in rock band Trauma UK, said: “I had a phone call the Monday morning from my doctor's surgery to say ‘would you be interested in taking these tablets?’ I thought ‘yep fine!’

“They said they’d be sent out by courier and I’d receive them by lunchtime the following day. As soon as I got them I started taking them.”

Molnupiravir, brand name, Lagevrio, is the world’s first COVID-19 treatment approved to be taken by mouth at home, rather than intravenously at hospital. It works by interfering with the virus’ replication to prevent it from multiplying.

Mr Nixey said: “Once I took the tablets, I felt a bit of a boost as such. Within a couple of days, my head cleared. I felt a little bit tired but maybe that was down to the fact I wasn’t doing anything anyway. I feel quite well now.

“It’s no real hardship to do, it’s simple enough. If you feel fit and well and think you could do it, it doesn’t really take any great deal of time out of your day. Someone needs to do it.”

People who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 may be eligible to participate at