Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
11:25 AM 18th August 2020

Sheffield Expands Covid-19 Vaccine Trial To Over-55s

Researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are looking to recruit healthy volunteers between 56 and 70 and over 70 years of age in the next phase of a major national trial to assess how well a potential new vaccine could protect against COVID-19.

The Trust is looking to recruit up to 200 healthy volunteers in the Sheffield postcode area, 100 in each age bracket, into the study which has already enrolled healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55.

Early results of this vaccine, recently reported in the Lancet, showed that the vaccine looked to be safe and that it triggered the immune responses thought to be important in protecting against COVID-19. In 1,077 healthy adult volunteers, the vaccine produced both neutralising antibodies and an effective T-cell response when given to healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years of age.

Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Oxford vaccine trial is assessing how well people across a broad range of ages could be protected from COVID-19 from this new vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. We are delighted to be expanding the study to include people aged between 56 and 70 and those over 70, and we urge anyone in these age groups who is interested and lives in the Sheffield postcode area to visit the trial website to find out more about what’s involved.”

Trial participants will be randomised to receive two doses of either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or a licensed meningitis vaccine (MenACWY) which will be used as a comparison. Participants will only be able to find out if they received the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine at the end of the trial. This is to ensure there is no bias during the trial, as people can act differently towards their health if they are aware of the vaccine they have received.

Dr Tom Darton, Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Florey Advanced Clinical Fellow in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield explained:

“The study will take over 13 months for each participant to complete, with participants attending the clinic at the Northern General Hospital up to eight times for assessment and blood tests to check their health and to look at their immune responses to the vaccine.”

Sheffield is one of 18 sites across the UK taking part in the study, with 12,330 participants due to take part nationally. The Sheffield study is being run in partnership with the University of Sheffield, health and social care organisations, and many others including the education and transport sectors across the city. It is being supported by the Sheffield National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Facility, which is based at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals.

For more information about the trial and how to get involved visit or email: email