Northern Ireland to take part in COVID-19 vaccine trial

  • Up to 350 volunteers from Northern Ireland will participate in a major COVID-19 vaccine trial starting as early as next week.

    Over 30 medical trials are currently taking place around the world to test promising vaccine candidates for the virus that causes COVID-19, all at various stages of development. Many are using tried and tested vaccine technologies that have just been adapted to the new virus, allowing them to be accelerated into human trials to determine safety and efficacy.

    It's now hoped that up to 350 volunteers from Northern Ireland will participate in a new UK-wide trial that kicks off at the end of this week. The development of a viable vaccine for mass-production is the single most important step to beating the pandemic, and a large propotion of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for life to get back to normal.

    The participants will be recruited from the UK Vaccine Registry, which launched in July to collect the details of those willing to participate. The new trial is being run by Novovax and the NI Clinical Research Network and forms part of an NI-wide coordinated vaccine trial plan by the Northern Ireland COVID-19 Vaccine Research Delivery Group.

    Dr Janice Bailie, Assistant Director of HSC R&D Division of the Public Health Agency involved in the trial said: "There are different types of vaccines, and we don't know which one will work best to protect people from catching COVID-19. It might be that different vaccines are needed for different groups of people, and it’s only through vaccine trials we will find this out."

    Anyone interested in participating in the Northern Ireland trial should head over to www.nhs.uk/researchcontact for more information or to sign up.

    Source: Written based on press release

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