Phase II/III Covid-19 human trials to begin in Nottingham

The University of Nottingham Health Service, at Cripps Medical Centre, University Park, is recruiting for the next phase in human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have developed the vaccine where phase I of the trial began in April. So far, more than 1,000 immunisations have been completed with follow up on-going.

Phase II and III will enrol up to 10,260 adults and children as well as involving partner institutions across the country.

Frontline healthcare workers in the East Midlands region aged between 18 and 55 are initially being invited to take part in the study.

The phase II part of the study involves expanding the age range of people the vaccine is assessed in to a small number of older adults and children. Researchers will assess the immune response to the vaccine in people of different ages to find any variation in how the immune system responds.

Phase III will involve assessing how the vaccine works in a large number of people over the age of 18.

This group will see how well the vaccine works to prevent infection from Covid-19.

According to the University of Nottingham:

‘Adult participants in both the Phase II and Phase III groups will be randomised to receive one or two doses of either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a licensed vaccine (MenACWY) that will be used as a ‘control’ for comparison.’

‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is made from a virus (ChAdOx1), which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees, that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to replicate in humans.’

Dr David Turner, Honorary Consultant in Clinical Microbiology at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, and lead researcher for the trial in Nottingham said:

“This next phase is of huge importance: this trial will test whether the Covid-19 vaccine can provide protection in the wider population.

“It is incredibly important that we recruit people for this important study and we are very grateful for the support of the trial volunteers in helping test whether this new vaccine could protect humans against the pandemic coronavirus.

“The trial will also evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses and protection in older adults.”