Press Release

Covid-19 vaccine trial team thank volunteers

Published on 6 January 2021

Researchers leading a trial of a Covid-19 vaccine have thanked the people of Tayside and Fife for their overwhelming response to a call for volunteers.

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Professor Jacob George

Researchers leading a trial of a Covid-19 vaccine have thanked the people of Tayside and Fife for their overwhelming response to a call for volunteers.

More than 5,500 people responded to a request for participants by the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside, who are the local co-leads for the second Phase 3 clinical trial of a vaccine candidate.

The team had been seeking 400 members of the public from across Tayside and Fife for the study, to receive two injections of the trial vaccine within a two-month period. If successful, the vaccine could play a pivotal role in reducing Covid-19 rates around the world.

Professor Jacob George from the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine and R&D Director for NHS Tayside, said, “The response from the public has been very welcome and encouraging to the research team.

“To make this trial a success we have required as broad a cross-section of the population as possible, and to have more than 5,500 people come forward has been hugely beneficial to our work.

“Although we are beginning to see the rollout of vaccines in the UK, which is fantastic news, the world will require several different vaccines to control the spread of this virus and that is why the work we are conducting here is so crucial. We cannot do that without the help of the people of Tayside and Fife, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has shown interest in being involved.”

Participants are receiving two injections of the trial vaccine, separated by a gap of 57 days. The vaccinations are taking place at the Clinical Research Centre (CRC), located at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital. Follow-up visits are taking place at the Ninewells CRC or the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, whichever is closer to where the volunteer resides. Following their initial injection, participants are being asked to complete a daily diary via a mobile phone app, monitoring their response to the trial vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccine trials in Scotland are supported by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, and NHS Research Scotland (NRS), working closely with the National Institute for Health Research and UK Vaccines Taskforce.  Whilst recent vaccine developments are encouraging, it is important that clinical trials into Covid-19 vaccines and treatments continue to ensure a range of options are available that can be suitable for different people.  With other vaccine studies anticipated to start over coming months, volunteers can continue to register their interest in taking part via the NHS Covid-19 vaccine registry at www.nhs.uk/researchcontact.

Dr Philp Short, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Ninewells Hospital, said, “To be involved with this trial is a huge honour and a tribute to the R&D capabilities of NHS Tayside and the University.

“We welcomed our first volunteers just days after beginning our recruitment drive and our ability to do that is a testament not only to the facilities we have here, but to the support we have from the local population. We would like to thank everyone who contacted us.”

Enquiries

Jonathan Watson

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489

j.s.watson@dundee.ac.uk