Since the start of the pandemic, the Clinical Research Network West Midlands has been involved in the set up and running of vaccine studies which have helped turn the tide against COVID-19.
The Network, which is hosted by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT), has worked with partners in the region to recruit 2,824 participants to 12 vaccine studies since 2020.
These took place at four Trusts – Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust and The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH) and one non-NHS site, Synexus in Birmingham
Vaccine studies include:
Novavax – read a Blog written by Network staff participant Claire Hall here https://local.nihr.ac.uk/blog/why-i-took-part-in-a-covid-19-vaccine-trial-claires-story/26085
CovBoost – the world’s first vaccine booster study
ComCov – the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine study researching alternating doses and intervals of approved vaccines
Octave DUO – led by the University of Birmingham, this study investigates if a third vaccine dose for people with weakened immune systems gives a stronger immune response than two doses.
The most recent vaccine study to launch is the PregCov trial which is being run at UHB and SATH. It is looking to identify the best interval between vaccine doses, during and following pregnancy.
Thanks are due to the more than 36,000 people in the West Midlands who have signed up to date, to register their interest in taking part in vaccine research at www.nhs.uk/researchcontact.
Professor Matt Brookes, Clinical Director of the Network says: ‘The UK has led the way in the testing and development of COVID-19 vaccines with invaluable input from patients and clinicians in the West Midlands. Our collaborations are offering research opportunities to thousands of patients and we thank everyone who is taking part.’
Published in the same week as the first vaccine was administered last December, a study by researchers from the Universities of Wolverhampton and Birmingham with the support of the CRN WM and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) highlighted key issues with vaccine uptake.
The Uptake Study: Insights And Beliefs Of The UK Population On Vaccines During The Covid-19 Pandemic was the first cross-sectional survey in the UK to examine the various factors influencing the uptake of a potential approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Sonika Sethi from RWT, Lead Author of the study said: ‘”Our work clearly shows the need to design interventional and public health strategies to engage and encourage participation from groups not interested in taking the approved vaccine. We believe that primary care should be at the forefront of these educational strategies, as participants are more likely to be willing to be vaccinated if recommended by their healthcare provider.”