Volunteers Wanted for New Covid-19 Vaccine Study

Urgent call for help with trials at Charing Cross Hospital

Residents of north west London are being encouraged to help continue the search for safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines by joining the latest phase 3 trial taking place at Charing Cross Hospital.

Thousands of volunteers are needed to take part in a study to test the effectiveness of the new Janssen’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.


Researchers need the public to keep volunteering to ensure people in the UK have access to different types of vaccines that work for them

The latest study, co-funded by the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce, will test the safety and effectiveness of a new two-dose regimen for a vaccine candidate, developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The study will recruit up to 30,000 people worldwide.

Volunteers from a variety of age groups and backgrounds, including some of the thousands who have registered to be contacted about vaccine studies through the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry, will begin taking part in the latest study at 17 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) sites across the UK. Recruitment into the study will complete in March 2021 and the study will last for 12 months.

To date, over 300,000 people have signed up to the NHS Covid-19 Vaccines Research Registry to take part in vital coronavirus vaccine studies. With a range of vaccine types needed to ensure people across the UK have access to one that works for as many people as possible, researchers are calling for volunteers to continue to sign up to take part in clinical studies.

Professor Alan Winston, Principal Investigator of the study at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said, ‘We are very excited to be running this study at the newly furnished vaccine hub at Charing Cross Hospital and look forward to welcoming volunteers from North West London interested in participating in the study. Safe and effective vaccines again COVID-19 remains a top health priority and are delighted this promising vaccine is now entering clinical studies in the UK.’

With several more phase 3 studies for potential vaccine studies expected to start over the next six months, researchers are highlighting the need for volunteers to continue to join the fight against coronavirus. In particular the NHS Covid-19 registry needs volunteers who are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, including frontline health and social care workers and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.

Dr Vanessa Apea, a Black, Asian and minority ethnic Clinical Champion at NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames, and a consultant in Sexual Health and HIV at Barts Health NHS Trust, said, “The topic of vaccines divides communities. For many, and in particular, Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, the word vaccine generates a lot of fear, rooted in mistrust, which can understandably lead to reluctance in taking part in a trial.

“We know that these communities are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and this makes it even more important that any outcomes from research, including new treatments and ways to prevent the disease, work for all communities. Only by doing this can we truly take control of Covid-19, so we really need people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities to sign up to learn more and be part of research.”

The UK government has developed a portfolio of six different vaccine candidates and secured access to 350 million doses to date. Of this, an agreement has been made in principle to include 30 million doses of the Janssen vaccine will be made available to the UK if it is safe and effective.

Chair of the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce, Kate Bingham said, “The recent news about progress on the search for a vaccine is enormously exciting for the whole world, but we must not take our focus off continuing the important research to work out which vaccines work best for different people to provide long lasting, effective protection against Covid-19.

“Many vaccines are needed both here in the UK, and globally, to ensure we can provide a safe and effective vaccine for the whole population. That is why the launch of this trial to establish the safety, effectiveness, and very importantly the durability, of the Janssen vaccine is so significant, and I would continue to encourage people to sign up and take part in vaccine trials."

The UK public can support the national effort to speed up vaccine research and receive more information about volunteering for clinical studies by visiting www.nhs.uk/researchcontact to join the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry.

The Registry was launched by the government in partnership with the NIHR, NHS Digital, the Scottish and Welsh governments and the Northern Ireland Executive in July. It aims to help create a database of people who consent to be contacted by the NHS to take part in clinical studies, to help speed up the development of a safe and effective vaccine.

November 18, 2020