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Meet Tracey, a vaccine study participant who volunteered for many things during the pandemic


In January 2020, Tracey’s son was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and became seriously ill. Following a life-saving operation at the RVI in Newcastle, he’s now rebuilding his life. This motivated Tracey to help others, so she decided to start her first volunteering role, delivering prescriptions and shopping for people who were shielding.

Tracey said: “When we went into the pandemic, I felt I needed to do something. I needed to help. When The Prime Minister was asking for volunteers to take part in COVID-19 vaccine research I signed up to the vaccine research registry. A few weeks later I got a letter about taking part in Novavax.

“I thought, people need help, and it helped me to not be sitting at home dwelling, I picked up prescriptions, did food shopping and then the opportunity came up with St. John’s Ambulance and I jumped at it.” 

Tracey always wanted to work for the NHS but went down a different career path as a Business Development Manager. When the opportunity arose to also volunteer as a vaccinator for St. John’s Ambulance.

“I was unblinded in the Novavax study as my volunteer vaccinator role required me to be vaccinated. I would encourage everyone to take part in research, I found it to be a very relaxing experience. Everything was fully explained and the staff were all so helpful and all very thorough, it made me feel safe and I had no qualms about participating and I have no regrets. 

“I am still vaccinating now and it’s been really enjoyable. It’s been a privilege to help people and protect them against COVID-19.” 

Gillian Johnson, Research Delivery Manager at NIHR CRN NENC and a close friend of Tracey said: “I want to thank Tracey for all of her incredible volunteering efforts. After a tough start to 2020 she wanted to do everything she could to help and feel that she was making a difference for the people close to her and those she had never met before. 

“This was so important to Tracey and the impact on the people that she helps is just incredible. Tracey is one in a million and always there to help where she can. A quiet, kind- hearted person who has always been active, and the pandemic didn’t slow her down. Thank you, Tracey.”