Bradford Royal Infirmary rolls out COVID-19 vaccine trial

Bradford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, partner trusts and GPs have started a phase 3 study to test the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax.

Consultant Respiratory Physician Professor Dinesh Saralaya, who will be leading the study at BTHFT, said: “The day has finally arrived where Bradford can join the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19.”

“We have vaccinated our first volunteer, our very own Dr Faisal Ali, Consultant Histopathologist, who became the first volunteer to receive the vaccine or its counterpart placebo.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“Now, in the race to beat COVID-19, developing a vaccine which shows efficacy in all sections of our population is really important. We have had more than 3,000 sign-ups on the micro-site for Bradford so far, but we need plenty more because we need to represent every section of our society and I particularly appeal to people belonging to our BAME communities and our own staff to volunteer for this trial, as we need to know that when a vaccine gets licensed it works in all sections of our society.”

Dr Faisal Ali, a Consultant Histopathologist at the Trust, was the first volunteer to take part in the trial. He said: “The reason I put my name down is because I think the only way we are going to get through this coronavirus pandemic and return to some sort of normality is through the development of an effective vaccine against coronavirus.”

“And basically, the development of that vaccine will rely on many volunteers to come and take part in these trials and see if these potential vaccines are effective.”

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