This week, recruitment opened for clinical trials of the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine. This is an important national clinical trial supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), part of the Department of Health and Social Care. It will be held at numerous sites across the country, including the NIHR/Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (CRF) here at King’s College Hospital.
Trial researchers are looking for healthy volunteers aged 18-84 to participate in the trial. The NHS Vaccine Registry is being used to recruit participants, however those not on the registry can express their interest in participating by contacting the study team directly or through the trial website.
In particular, researchers are hoping to recruit 25% of participants over the age of 65 as well prioritising other groups that are most affected by COVID-19, including those from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
At King’s, we aim to recruit 160 participants to the trial.
Trial participants will receive two doses of the experimental vaccine or two doses of a placebo or ‘dummy’ vaccine, three weeks apart. Some people may also receive the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time. Participants are required to complete six visits to a trial centre (King’s CRF being one) over the course of around 13 months. Researchers will measure the safety of the vaccine as well as its effectiveness in stimulating the immune system to protect people from COVID-19. To read more about the design of the trial, please visit the trial website.
Finding a safe and effective vaccine is a crucial to the national and global response to COVID-19, and clinical trials such as these are a key step in this process.