Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
4:22 PM 25th September 2020

World First COVID-19 Vaccine Trial In Bradford Days Away

A Bradford hospital is just days away from rolling out a world first COVID-19 vaccine trial.

The development once again puts researchers at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of Bradford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) in the spotlight, highlighting their commitment to improving the lives of patients and local communities.

The Trust will be working with partner trusts and GPs in the delivery of the world’s first Phase 3 study to test the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax.

The trial is due to start in the first week of October, and will see Bradford become one of only three regional and one of 20 national centres to deliver it.

Consultant Respiratory Physician Dr Dinesh Saralaya, who will be leading the study at BTHFT said:
“This is great news for Bradford and our ‘City of Research’ that at last the vaccine trials are getting underway.

“The Novavax vaccine trial will involve 500 recruits and we are hoping to vaccinate 50 people per day – or 250 people per week.

“Our key role will be to test in real-life whether these vaccines provide immunity against COVID-19, and give us the strongest possible protection from becoming infected and unwell. Volunteers will be given two doses of the vaccine; one on their first day and a second on day 21. They will then be monitored for 12 months.

“The trial centre will be away from the hospital as we recognise that some people are nervous about attending hospital buildings at this time.”

Dr Saralaya added that all those taking part would be aged 18 and over and would not have had COVID-19.

“Anyone involved in the trials needs to be antibody negative in order for the vaccine to be effective. People will be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the trial and anyone who tests positive for the virus will be unable to take part,” he said.

Further vaccine trials are expected to begin in November this year.

Hundreds of people have already signed up to become volunteers for the COVID-19 trials via the Trust’s microsite and the National COVID-19 Vaccine Registry but Dr Saralaya stressed that many more were still needed.

“We are looking for thousands of volunteers for a number of vaccine trials. Bradford is part of the global race for a vaccine and we are calling on our local community to get involved.

“This is the only way that we can save as many lives as possible during the pandemic if Bradford people sign up. It is also vitally important that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) sign up too.”

People can find out how to volunteer here