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Eastern hospitals collaborate to bring latest COVID-19 vaccine trial to region

Eastern hospitals collaborate to bring latest COVID-19 vaccine trial to region

Members of the public from across Cambridgeshire are being invited to join another leading phase three Covid-19 vaccine study, as research teams from Cambridge’s NHS Trusts work together to secure a range of vaccines to help tackle coronavirus.

Led by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) with colleagues from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the latest study will test the safety and effectiveness of a new two-dose regimen for a vaccine candidate, developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The study will recruit up to 30,000 people worldwide with around 6,000 of them taking part in the UK.

Around 330 volunteers from a variety of age groups and backgrounds across Cambridgeshire are being invited to participate, having signed up to the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry (NHS.UK/researchcontact). To date, over 4,700 people in Cambridgeshire have signed up to the NHS Covid-19 Vaccines Research Registry to be contacted about taking part in coronavirus vaccine studies.

Although recently announced interim results from University of Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTeCH and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials are significant steps forward, the vaccines have not yet been approved for use in the UK. Different vaccines work in different ways, therefore clinical trials into COVID-19 vaccines need to continue to ensure everyone can benefit.

Cambridge’s NHS Trusts’ research teams have already played a vital part in the drive to find a Covid-19 vaccine as a site for the Oxford Vaccine Trial which, this week, reported promising interim results. CUH, Royal Papworth Hospital and CPFT worked together to recruit more than 400 members of NHS staff who are participating in the trial.

Dr Frank McCaughan, Lung Cancer Lead and Principal Investigator leading the trial at CUH, said: “The recent news about vaccine trials is promising, but it is extremely important that other vaccine trials continue to be carried out to completion. We hope this will allow us to have a selection of vaccines to protect the whole population. We are delighted to be able to offer more chances to people in the area to be a part of this process, and are grateful to be able to work with colleagues from around the world to find ways to tackle this coronavirus.”

Dr Ashley Shaw, Medical Director at CUH, said: “This is clearly a rapidly evolving field. It is vital to we continue to develop a number of vaccines through different approaches and strengthen our understanding of how each vaccine might be best used across the population.”

The UK public can support the national effort to speed up vaccine research and receive more information about volunteering for clinical studies by visiting www.nhs.uk/researchcontact to join the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry.

If you have further questions about vaccine studies please visit the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Be Part of Research website at www.bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk/vaccine-studies.