Manchester University Trust recruits final participant for COVID-19 vaccine trial

The latest COVID-19 vaccine trial recruited its final participant at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust yesterday.

The trial for the vaccine, developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has a global recruitment target of 6,000 in the UK, and 30,000 worldwide.

It is expected to be completed in March 2021.

The agreement between the NHS Trust and the UK Government to collaborate on a vaccine came in August 2020 and the trial officially began on November 2.

The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine is likely to be the fifth vaccine to hit the UK.

Unlike the other vaccines, it only requires a single dose to be effective.

The trial is currently in Phase 3, meaning it is given to an increased number of volunteers to determine its effectiveness.

Volunteers do not know if they are given the real vaccine or the placebo.

The vaccine works in the same way as the other vaccines which have already been approved, where it prepares the body to defend itself against the vaccine.

Dr Tim Felton is the Honorary Consultant at MFT’s Wythenshawe Hospital and the Trust’s Clinical Lead for all COVID-19 research, as well as the Principal Investigator at MFT for the Janssen Phase 3 study.

He said: “Recruiting our final participant into this study is a major step forward in our fight against coronavirus – and I’d like to thank every person who has volunteered to take part in this vital research.”

In total 400 people were recruited for the trial in the first eight weeks, including Manchester Foundation Trust’s Head of Research Dr Claire Cole.

Dr Cole said: “Although I have worked in health research for a number of years, I never cease to be amazed by the life-changing – and sometimes lifesaving – impact research can have.”

The vaccine trials recruit people of all ages and backgrounds in the UK and they are monitored for 112 weeks after the vaccination.

Stephanie Gill, a headteacher from Sale, signed up using the NHS vaccine registry.

“When I received my invite to take part, I was really excited,” she said.

“I’ve never taken part in research before, but all the research staff here have been absolutely brilliant.”

More than 1,240 Greater Manchester volunteers are already taking part in the Novavax vaccine trial, which has been revealed to be 89.3% effective.

You can sign up for other vaccine trials here.

Main photo credit: Image by torstensimon from Pixabay 

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