Hundreds take part in Novavax Covid-19 vaccine study in University of Leeds The Edge sports hall

Hundreds of volunteers from Leeds will take part in a world-first Covid-19 vaccine trial.
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The trial is the first Phase Three study to test the effectiveness of the new Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

Volunteers will be receiving the vaccine in the University of Leeds' The Edge Sports Hall.

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Half of the volunteers will be given the vaccine and the other half a placebo, or "dummy" injection.

Volunteers will be receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in the University of Leeds' The Edge Sports Hall. Photo: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS TrustVolunteers will be receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in the University of Leeds' The Edge Sports Hall. Photo: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Volunteers will be receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in the University of Leeds' The Edge Sports Hall. Photo: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The study will test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, across a broad spectrum of people, including those from various age groups and backgrounds.

The study will involve many thousands of people to give researchers insights into the effects of a vaccine in a large population of people.

Professor Chris Twelves, Director of the NIHR Leeds Clinical Research Facility at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust said: “Today marks the start of the first COVID-19 Vaccine trial in Leeds.

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"This was only possible because of the hard work and dedication from the Leeds, Harrogate and York city-wide multidisciplinary COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Delivery Team.

“I would like to thank everyone who has signed up to take part in the upcoming trials, but also say a massive thank you to the University of Leeds and Leeds Becket University for agreeing to host the vaccines recruitment centre.”

Dr Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The city’s enthusiasm to take part in research during the pandemic has been amazing.

"Only by working together will we be able find an effective vaccine which will help us to control Covid-19”.

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Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “I’m delighted that Leeds is playing its part in this global ambition to fight coronavirus.

"A vaccine is the only guarantee to keep people safe from this devastating disease.

"I would like to say a big thank you to everyone in Leeds who has already signed up to this significant trial and would urge others to register if they are able to do so.”

This latest trial is calling on some of the thousands of volunteers from Leeds who have signed up to the NHS Vaccine Registry, which has already seen over 25,000 people from Yorkshire & Humber register since July 2020.

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Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, alongside its partners, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds GP Confederation and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, aims to recruit over 600 people in the city to take part in the trial over the next three-week period.

With several more studies for potential vaccines expected to start before the end of the year, UK researchers are calling for additional volunteers to sign up to take part in the research.

To better understand the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and help find a vaccine that works for as many people as soon as possible, researchers are particularly seeking more volunteers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as well as those with underlying health conditions and the over 65s.

To find out more about COVID-19 Vaccines and to register visit www.nhs.uk/researchcontact.