Volunteers Needed for Latest UK COVID-19 Vaccine Study Launched in Halton, Cheshire

Volunteers from the Cheshire and Merseyside area are being asked to sign up to the latest COVID-19 vaccine study to be rolled out across the UK.
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National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) press release

Volunteers needed for latest UK COVID-19 vaccine study launching in Halton, Cheshire

Volunteers from the Cheshire and Merseyside area are being asked to sign up to the latest COVID-19 vaccine study to be rolled out across the UK.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) supported Valneva Phase 2/3 study will be run at the Halton hospital site and is open to healthy adults who have not had a previous COVID-19 vaccine. 

4,000 participants will be recruited across the UK, and everyone involved in the study will receive two active vaccine doses, administered in a four week interval. Those enrolled in the study over the age of 30 will be randomised to receive two doses of either the Valneva vaccine, or the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Participants aged 18 - 29 can be enrolled into the study to receive the Valneva vaccine and will not be offered the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Developed by the specialty vaccine company Valneva, the vaccine is being manufactured at the company’s site in Livingston, West Lothian, and is the only inactivated, adjuvanted (an ingredient to create a stronger immune response) COVID-19 vaccine in clinical development in Europe.

Volunteers for the study will be vaccinated at the beginning of May. Register interest via this link https://www.ukcovid19study.com/

If Valneva’s vaccine is shown to be safe and effective, up to 250 million vaccine doses could be supplied to the UK and other countries around the world. As part of the UK government’s vaccine procurement approach, up to 100 million doses of this vaccine have been secured.

To register interest in future vaccine studies and sign up to be contacted by researchers, people can visit the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry (www.nhs.uk/researchcontact).

Professor Adam Finn, Chief Investigator for the Valneva study said:

“Following very encouraging safety and immune response results from our phase 1 study, along with my investigator colleagues, I am really looking forward to starting on this important next stage of the clinical development of this important new vaccine. We definitely need more vaccines to help us out of this pandemic and this one is a very promising candidate.”

Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Simon Constable said: “The team at our clinical research unit on the Halton Hospital site is ready to receive and support volunteers during this trial. We hope that the accessibility of this research site, with ample parking and good transport links, will encourage more people in our local areas Halton, Warrington and the wider Cheshire and Merseyside region to register to take part in this new vaccine study.”

The vaccine trial which is being run at the Halton Hospital site and it being supported by staff from Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Clinical Research Network: North West Coast. 

Dr Marcin Bula, Principal Investigator of the Valneva COVID-19 trial said:   
“We are pleased to be supporting the Valneva vaccine trial taking place at the  Clinical Research Unit at the Halton Hospital site which will give our local community the opportunity to access a vaccine and take part in a trial. Vaccines are an effective weapon against COVID-19 and with encouraging safety and immune response results from the initial phase 1 study, we hope our involvement in this trial will support the successful development of this candidate to give the UK, and the rest of the world a number of vaccine solutions.”

Dr Chris Smith, Chief Operating Officer at the Clinical Research Network, North West Coast also said “Clinical studies into COVID-19 vaccines remain critical to help find several safe and effective candidates to help protect us all. Volunteers in the North West Coast region are still needed to help carry out these studies. ”

Dr Clare Morgan, Director of Strategy at Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “we are pleased to be working with WHH’s Halton Clinical Research Unit, to support the Valneva vaccine trial and to be to give our local community the opportunity to access a vaccine and take part in research. Vaccines are an effective weapon against COVID-19 and with encouraging safety and immune response results from the early phase Valneva study , we hope our involvement in this trial will support the successful development of this candidate to give the UK, and the rest of the world a number of vaccine solutions.”
 
Thomas Lingelbach, Chief Executive Officer of Valneva, said: “As COVID-19 continues to impact people’s daily lives, Valneva remains fully focused on developing another safe and efficacious vaccine solution. The world needs multiple vaccines and we believe that ours has an important role to play - including boosters or potential modifications to address variants. The initiation of this trial marks a significant milestone in the development of the only inactivated vaccine candidate against COVID-19 in clinical trials in Europe. We are grateful to the NIHR for its continued support and to everyone who volunteers to make clinical trials possible.”