People across Essex are being asked to play an important part in helping to find a vaccine for Covid-19 by signing up to a new NHS registry.
Anyone aged 18 years or over can sign up to the new NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry to receive information about new Covid-19 vaccine trials which are expected to take place in the region over the coming months.
Joining the registry does not mean you are automatically signed up to a trial, it just means that you can be contacted to find out about what taking part in one would involve.
So far, more than 20,000 people in the Eastern region have already signed up, but in order to make sure any vaccine works for everyone, researchers need people to take part from a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, and across as many counties as possible.
The more people who sign up, the quicker and easier it will be for researchers to find people who would like to take part in the vaccine trials. With the help of these volunteers, researchers will have the best chance of identifying an effective vaccine which could help protect the UK and world population against coronavirus as soon as possible.
The registry has been developed as part of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce, in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS Digital, and the Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Governments.
Once signed up, you might be contacted by a member of the vaccine trial team who can provide more information and answer any questions you may have to help you decide whether or not to take part.
Dr Helen Macdonald, the NIHR Clinical Research Network Eastern’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity and information they need in order to make an informed choice about taking part in Covid-19 vaccine research, and this registry is the best way to do this.
“Even if you are contacted, there is absolutely no obligation to take part. However, by doing so, you could help researchers find a vaccine to protect us all more quickly – which in turn could help the NHS and save lives.”
Since the start of the pandemic, NHS teams around the region have been delivering research to help find treatments for patients with Covid-19. This includes contributing to findings from the NIHR-supported REMAP-CAP trial, which show that corticosteroids can significantly improve outcomes for severely ill patients with Covid-19.