Plymouth At Forefront Of Global Covid-19 Research

With vaccine trials for the new Covid-19 launching in the coming weeks, University Hospitals Plymouth is one of the world’s biggest recruiters for research. In fact, over 1500 volunteers have signed up to take part in the vaccine trials, which is one of the biggest uptakes in the world so far.

Currently, the research team at University Hospitals Plymouth have consented, screened and randomised more participants than any other vaccine test site globally. The study will test the safety and effectiveness of a new vaccine developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and co-funded by the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce.

“Finding a successful vaccine is our only exit strategy out of this global pandemic, and so it is fantastic that the people of Plymouth have come to our aid, and so quickly,” explains Dr Gary Minto, Director of Research, Development and Innovation at UHP. “We are really pleased with how well recruitment to the study is going so far and want to thank everyone who has come forward.”

Ann James, Chief Executive, said: “I’d really like to congratulate the Research, Development and Innovation team on this achievement, and to thank those who have signed up to take part in the trial. It’s fantastic news that brings us that bit closer to finding a vaccine, and I’m proud that our Trust is helping to play an important part in the global response to covid-19.”

To find out more information about the study, or if you’re interested in signing up you can email: plh-tr.uhpvaccinestudy@nhs.net

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) is an acute specialist hospital with a large and active Research and Development team, recognising that patients who take part in research have better outcomes. It recruits thousands of patients to participate in research each year, with approximately 600 trials running at any one time.   

Alok Sharma, the Business Secratary said, “The start of further clinical trials in the UK is yet another step forward in the race to discover a safe and effective vaccine, and comes alongside recent news that we could be on the cusp of the first major breakthrough since the pandemic began.

“While we are optimistic with the progress being made, there are no guarantees and it is possible there will be no one-size-fits-all vaccine. That is why it is absolutely vital that while our scientists are cracking on with the job, we continue to follow the guidance to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The UK remains under a national lockdown until December 2nd 2020, although there have been reports that there will be changes to the lockdown tiers and regional restrictions.

Although Devon and Cornwall has not been one of the worst hit parts of the UK, cases of the Coronavirus continue to rise, despite the lockdown. There have been an additional 529 cases in Plymouth from 11th Nov-16 Nov, with 100 reported total deaths from Covid-19.

For more information, view University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

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