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Over 200,000 people sign up to vaccine registry across UK

Over 200,000 people sign up to vaccine registry across UK

Over 200,000 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 more than 20,000 people from across Yorkshire and Humber, meaning that 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, Jane Minton, COVID-19 Research Lead for the NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire & Humber said:

“I’d like to thank the people in Sheffield and Hull who are already taking part in the Oxford vaccine trial. We need thousands more people across Yorkshire and Humber to join the NHS vaccine register and do their bit to help us find effective vaccines sooner at 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 Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate, York and Wakefield 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 Yorkshire and Humber for testing in the autumn.

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.

Consultant Respiratory Physician and Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) PRC, Bradford, Dinesh Saralaya said: "The best way to protect us from future outbreaks is to develop effective vaccines. Several vaccine trials are being conducted around the UK in the coming months and it is important that we all sign up to be contacted about them.

"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.”

Eighteen-year-old Marium Zumeer from Bradford, who was hospitalised after contracting COVID-19, has first-hand experience of the benefits of taking part in clinical trials. During her time in intensive care, she was offered the opportunity to take part in the national RECOVERY trial, which is testing a range of potential treatments for COVID-19. This includes the drug dexamethasone, which was found to be the first drug to be effective when treating those who are critically ill with the virus.

RECOVERY trial volunteer Marium Zumeer said: "I will always be grateful for being encouraged to sign up. I remember my dad at the time urging me to take part, not just for myself but for the wider community. The result has been really positive for me and I would encourage others to do their bit in helping us all in the fight against coronavirus."