The first of hundreds of volunteers from Leeds will take part in the world’s first Phase three study to test the effectiveness of the new Novavax COVID-19 vaccine this month.
The study will test the safety and effectiveness of a promising new vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, across a broad spectrum of people, including those from various age groups and backgrounds. Phase three studies involve many thousands of people, giving researchers insights into the effects of a vaccine in a large population of people, half of whom will receive the vaccine and half a “dummy” injection.
This latest trial is calling on some of the thousands of volunteers from Leeds who have signed up to the NHS Vaccine Registry, which has already seen over 25,000 people from Yorkshire & Humber register since July 2020.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, alongside its partners, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds GP Confederation and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, aims to recruit over 600 people in the city to take part in the trial over the next three week period.
With several more studies for potential vaccines expected to start before the end of the year, UK researchers are calling for additional volunteers to sign up to take part in research. To better understand the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and help find a vaccine that works for as many people as soon as possible, researchers are particularly seeking more volunteers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as well as those with underlying health conditions and the over 65s.
Professor Chris Twelves, Director of the NIHR Leeds Clinical Research Facility at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust said: “Today marks the start of the first COVID-19 Vaccine trial in Leeds. This was only possible because of the hard work and dedication from the Leeds, Harrogate and York city-wide multidisciplinary COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Delivery Team.
“I would like to thank everyone who has signed up to take part in the upcoming trials, but also say a massive thank you to the University of Leeds and Leeds Becket University for agreeing to host the vaccines recruitment centre.”
Dr Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The city’s enthusiasm to take part in research during the pandemic has been amazing. Only by working together will we be able find an effective vaccine which will help us to control Covid-19”. To help our researchers find the best vaccine for our community please sign up by visiting the NHS Vaccine registry website.”
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “I’m delighted that Leeds is playing its part in this global ambition to fight coronavirus. A vaccine is the only guarantee to keep people safe from this devastating disease. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone in Leeds who has already signed up to this significant trial and would urge others to register if they are able to do so.”
To find out more about COVID-19 Vaccines and to register visit www.nhs.uk/researchcontact.