Healthy NHS staff at high risk of COVID-19 infection called on to trial coronavirus vaccine

PUBLISHED: 11:31 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:47 03 June 2020

Healthy NHS staff at high risk of COVID-19 infection are being called on to trial a vaccine that has been developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with three NHS Trusts in Cambridgeshire. Picture: Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP)

Healthy NHS staff at high risk of COVID-19 infection are being called on to trial a vaccine that has been developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with three NHS Trusts in Cambridgeshire. Picture: Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP)

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Healthy NHS staff at high risk of COVID-19 infection are being called on to trial a vaccine that has been developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with three NHS Trusts in Cambridgeshire.

The COV002 trial aims to assess how well people across a range of ages could be protected from COVID-19 using a new vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

It will also provide information on the safety of the vaccine and its ability to generate good immune responses against the virus.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are offering an opportunity for healthy staff who aged between 18-55 years old, who have not been infected with coronavirus but have regular face to face contact with COVID-19 patients, to take part in the trial.

CPFT is the only integrated physical, mental health and social care NHS Trust in the UK offering the trial to staff across the region.

If they are eligible to take part in the study, participants will be randomised to receive one dose of either the trial vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) or a licensed meningitis vaccine (MenACWY) that will be used as a ‘control’ for comparison.

Screening of participants began on May 29 and following vaccination, participants will be followed up over 12 months.

Dr Estée Török, honorary consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology and principal investigator at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Developing an effective vaccine is key to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are delighted to be working with CPFT and RPH on this UK national priority vaccine trial.

“We are looking for healthy volunteers at high risk of COVID-19 infection at CUH to participate in this study and are most grateful to them for doing so.”

Dr Ben Underwood, deputy medical director and principal investigator (study lead) at CPFT, said: “We are grateful to all our staff for their brilliant response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our research teams are playing a vital role in international efforts to secure a vaccine, which we hope will protect those most at risk, save more lives and minimise the disruption caused by the virus.

“Thank you to all volunteers who take part and make clinical trials possible.”

Dr Robert Rintoul, director of the Papworth trials unit collaboration, said: “We at Royal Papworth Hospital are proud to be supporting research into possible vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.

“I would like to thank our staff members who have chosen to participate in this important public health projec


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