100,000 people sign up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine register in the first month
More than 100,000 people have now signed up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine registry, helping to speed up efforts to discover safe and effective vaccines. This includes thousands of people from across the West Midlands, meaning they will be amongst the first in the world to be contacted with details about the large-scale vaccination trials starting in the coming weeks and invited to take part.
Speaking about the milestone, Clinical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands, Professor Jeremy Kirk commented:
‘I’d like to thank the thousands of people across our region who have already joined the NHS vaccine register and want to do their bit to help us find effective vaccines sooner. If you haven’t already, I’d urge you to join them and sign up today through www.nhs.uk/researchcontact. This is the best way to help save and protect millions of lives, across the NHS and indeed the whole world.
‘People who have joined the NHS vaccine register will be the first to hear when the trials start recruiting in our area. We’re currently planning how people in the West Midlands will be able to take part in the large scale vaccine trials opening in the coming weeks. If you have any queries or would like more information, visit www.bepartofresearch.org for more information.’
To enable large-scale vaccine studies to take place across the UK, the aim is to get as many people as possible signed up to the register by October. NHS and research officials are working with scientists and the organisations behind development of the different vaccines, with the aim of bringing at least one and possibly several vaccines to the people of the West Midlands for testing in the autumn.
Professor Kirk adds: ‘I would like to reassure people that research trials and studies are strictly regulated for ethics and safety. They are conducted within the framework of the NIHR, which is the research partner of the NHS, and we take every precaution to safeguard participants taking part. This includes appointments in settings like sports halls close to where people live and work rather than in hospitals.
‘By working together, we can produce efficient vaccines which are likely to protect all sections of our society from this dreadful virus in future.’
Researchers are looking for people from all backgrounds, ages and parts of the UK, including both people with or without existing health conditions, to take part in vaccine studies, to make sure that any vaccines developed will work for everyone.
Research has found that certain groups of people are more likely to catch the virus or suffer severe illness as a result, so those who are most likely to benefit from vaccines are particularly invited to sign up. These include over the 65s, frontline workers and those from the black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.
Clinical studies with a diverse group of volunteers will help scientists and researchers better understand the effectiveness of each vaccine candidate and will considerably speed up efforts to discover a safe and workable vaccine.
Research Paramedic Josh Miller is one of those who is already taling part in a vaccine trial. He says: ‘Studies around the world have shown that just trying things, without comparing them to not trying, doesn’t find treatments that work. It is wonderful that I am just one of hundreds of thousands of people signing up to help others, by being part of research.’
For further information contact Claire Hall, Communications lead on 07775 800227.