Coronavirus: 100,000 Britons Volunteer for Vaccine Trials – But Thousands More Needed | UK News

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Britons are urged to sign up for future vaccine trials as the chair of the UK task force has said we may have a vaccine early next year that will prevent people from dying from the coronavirus.

A first 100,000 volunteers have already signed up for the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry, which can be done online and will require hundreds of thousands of people to register.

Those who add to the registry can be contacted by researchers organizing large-scale clinical trials on coronavirus vaccines.

Scientists say the way out of the pandemic is to find an effective vaccine, and the UK Vaccine Task Force – established under the aegis of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – is working to secure one and help fund clinical trials.

Kate Bingham, chair of the task force, said the registry has had “phenomenal adoption” so far.

“The purpose of the registry is to try to get as many people as possible to sign up so that as we recruit and start these big efficacy studies, we have people to whom we can contact us immediately.

“These trials are safe, please register. The faster we get the clinical trials registered, vaccinated and get the results, the faster we can get a vaccine. ”

Ms Bingham said she was “very optimistic” about potential vaccines and added that the initial results of three of the six examined by the task force were encouraging.

“I wouldn’t bet on a vaccine this year, but I would bet on having something early next year that changes the course of the disease,” she said.

“What I think we’ll get is a vaccine that reduces the severity of symptoms so people stop dying and turn into something like the flu.



What vaccines are tested and how do they work?

But Ms Bingham told Sky News there was still a chance a vaccine could be found by the end of the year.

“I think we have a chance to get a vaccine this year. There are two potential candidates – one would be the Oxford candidate and the other would be the German vaccine from BioNTech, ”she said.

“These are the two that, if everything works, could be made and delivered this year. It is highly likely that it will be early next year. ”

Older people are likely to get a different vaccine than younger people if treatments are found, because their immune systems are usually weaker, Ms Bingham said.

People over 65 are among the priority groups for a future vaccine, along with ethnic minorities, people with underlying illnesses, and frontline health and social workers.

Emphasizing the importance for these groups to register for the trials, Ms Bingham said: “This is a call for everyone as we have to make sure that those most at risk… are registered for the trials because we have to. be sure their immune responses are appropriate for the vaccines we are testing.

“We can’t just test these vaccines on fit 25-year-olds. We need to make sure we have a full demographics across the UK both regionally and by age and underlying health so we can make sure vaccines are safe. and effective for everyone. ”

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So far, only 6% of the volunteers entered in the register have come from BAME.

“People are suspicious and I have certainly seen some incredibly aggressive anti-vaxes say it’s discriminatory or that you are being targeted for all the wrong reasons,” Ms. Bingham said.

“I think the bottom line is to say that there is no program at all other than to deliver safe and effective vaccines to people at risk as soon as possible and to do that we need the groups high priority register for testing. . ”

A number of UK trials are expected to start this fall.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: ‘Scientists and researchers are working day and night to find a vaccine that meets the UK’s stringent regulatory and safety standards, but they need hundreds of thousands of people to all backgrounds and all ages to enroll in studies to accelerate. this vital research.

“I urge everyone to play our part in the fight against the coronavirus and join the 100,000 people who have already signed up, so that we can help save and protect millions of lives. “

People walk in central Chester, north-west England, August 12, 2020. - Britain's economy contracted a record 20.4% in the second quarter as the country was stranded by the novel coronavirus pandemic, official data showed on Wednesday.
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People are invited to “play their part”

Analysis: registration can help end this pandemic
By Thomas Moore, scientific correspondent

Researchers want more people over 65 to register for trials because their immune systems tend to respond less well to vaccines.

They also want more volunteers from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups to test whether they respond to vaccines in a slightly different way.

Enrollment does not mean that you have consented to receive an investigational vaccine.

Researchers will contact you with more information about a specific trial if you meet the criteria.

This should tell you what stage the research is at, how many people have had it so far, and if there are any possible side effects, such as fever, muscle aches, or pain at the injection site.

There are currently two vaccines being tested in the UK – in Oxford and London. But that will likely increase in the fall.

Some people will have concerns about the safety of the vaccines, but any major issues are likely to have been identified in preliminary testing and an independent ethics committee is still monitoring the study to ensure researchers are following the guidelines. rules.

These large-scale studies are aimed more at confirming whether the vaccine protects against the virus.

By volunteering, people are helping end the pandemic.

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