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People of Yorkshire and Humber help UK COVID-19 research pass one million participants

More than one million participants (1,075,000) have now taken part in COVID-19 research across the UK, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS can proudly announce.

Local people across the Yorkshire and Humber region have played an important role in reaching this remarkable milestone, with 98,270 participants taking part in 48 nationally-prioritised COVID-19 studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the NIHR has supported more than 180 studies into COVID-19 right across the country. Of these, more than 100 studies were also funded by the NIHR, amounting to more than £108 million given to dedicated COVID-19 research.

The milestone of one million participants has been achieved across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales by members of the public, NHS doctors and nurses, NIHR research staff and researchers, regulators, life science companies, research funders and policy makers. Across the region, 26 NHS hospitals have supported and delivered this vital research - by helping their patients to take part.

Their efforts have enabled world-leading research into therapeutics such as dexamethasone and tocilizumab, delivery of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and more. Ground-breaking platform studies such as RECOVERY, PRINCIPLE and REMAP-CAP have all made a significant contribution to the global understanding of COVID-19.

These discoveries have significantly improved outcomes for people who get the virus, especially those most at risk of becoming severely unwell and hospitalised. Without such significant support from the public, this vital research would not have been possible.

Thanking our local research and NHS heroes

To coincide with the announcement of one million participants, the NIHR and NHS are jointly launching the #ResearchVsCovid ‘thank you’ campaign to celebrate the efforts of participants, researchers and healthcare professionals for their involvement in COVID-19 research. Local people are encouraged to join in with their own thank yous to anyone they know who has been involved in COVID research in some way.

The campaign kicks off with a series of video thank yous to participants, researchers and NHS staff. These celebratory videos will feature well-known figures including England’s Chief Medical Officer Prof. Chris Whitty and NHS England Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, and will draw attention to the incredible work and dedication that led to this research.

Professor Alistair Hall, Clinical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire & Humber said: 

"As a research network we are tasked with serving the needs of our community with regard to finding effective responses to health and social care problems. The Covid-19 pandemic has synchronised the wants and needs of many - to find quick and reliable solutions.  

“As a result the drive and enthusiasm of participants who have understood this process and volunteered to take part in research has been powerful. It has demonstrated significant altruism and endeavour that we greatly appreciate."

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and co-lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), said:

“Reaching 1million participants in COVID-19 research shows the impressive selflessness of people across the UK who have volunteered to take part. This research has led to vaccines, better treatments and improved care. 

“A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in, led or enabled the research.”

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: 

“During the darkness of this pandemic, NHS clinical researchers, UK scientists and one million volunteer patients have together helped illuminate a more hopeful path for humanity. 

“Thanks to their remarkable and selfless work, they have made unique and decisive contributions to therapies and vaccines for our shared global fight against Covid-19. It is amazing to consider that more than one million people in this country who have selflessly volunteered to participate in our research will themselves help save over a million lives worldwide."