Public urged to sign up for Covid-19 vaccine trials after 100,000 people register in first month
Frontline works, BAME people and those aged over 65 are particularly encouraged to apply (PA)
The public are being urged to sign up to the NHS’s coronavirus vaccine trial to help speed up efforts to roll out a successful candidate.
Those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, frontline health and social care workers, and people aged over 65 are being particularly encouraged to apply.
Over 100,000 people have already registered with the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry since it was launched in mid-July, the Government said.
Trials are expected to begin in the autumn, and those eligible to take part in the trial will be required to visit a hospital or research site several times over 6 to 12 months, whilst also tracking symptoms at home.
There is no guarantee participants will receive the vaccine, as placebo doses are also administered, and anyone who registers their interest is not obliged to take part.
But, commenting on the trials, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “From John O’Groats to Land’s End, everyone has played their part in tackling coronavirus from wearing face coverings to following social distancing guidance.
“Scientists and researchers are working day and night to find a vaccine that meets the UK’s rigorous regulatory and safety standards, but they need hundreds of thousands of people of all backgrounds and ages to sign-up for studies to speed up this vital research.
“I urge everyone to play our part in the fight against coronavirus and join the 100,000 people who have already registered, so we can help save and protect millions of lives.”
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said he was “grateful” for everyone who had signed up so far.
He added: “Having 100,000 volunteers in just four weeks shows the selflessness of the public and is testament to the speed of work done by the Vaccines Taskforce, National Institute for Health Research and others to make signing up possible.
“I urge people to continue to sign up. It is important that we have people from different backgrounds and ages as volunteers, so that the vaccines that are developed work for everyone.”