The public is being encouraged to help continue the search for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by joining the latest phase 3 trial.
Thousands of volunteers across the UK will begin taking part in a study this week to test the effectiveness of the new Janssen’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, with one of the locations in Cardiff.
The latest study, co-funded by the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce, will test the safety and effectiveness of a new two-dose regimen for a vaccine candidate, developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The study will recruit up to 30,000 people worldwide.
With several more phase 3 studies for potential vaccine studies expected to start over the next six months, researchers are highlighting the need for volunteers from across the UK to continue to join the fight against coronavirus.
In particular there is a need for volunteers who are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, including frontline health and social care workers and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Dr Andrew Freedman, Principal Investigator for the Janssen trial & Reader and Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale UHB, said:
“It is encouraging to hear about the recent vaccine developments, but there is still more work to be done. We need to continue this work, and this investigational vaccine candidate has been shown to generate a robust immune response in early phase human studies; the next step is this much larger trial to determine if it is effective in controlling the infection. I am delighted that Cardiff and Vale UHB in conjunction with Public Health Wales is running this trial and would encourage people living in the Cardiff and Vale area to consider taking part.”
The UK government has developed a portfolio of six different vaccine candidates and secured access to 350 million doses to date. Of this, an agreement has been made in principle that 30 million doses of the Janssen vaccine will be made available to the UK if it is safe and effective.
Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of Public Health Wales, said:
“Public Health Wales is delighted to be working in partnership with Cardiff & Vale Health Board, Health and Care Research Wales and the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University to deliver this important COVID-19 vaccine research trial in Wales.
“If successful, this work will have a long term impact on the health of the population of Wales. I encourage people in Wales to take part in this important research.”
Professor Kieran Walshe, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, which is nationally coordinating research and study-set up in Wales, said:
“The only real way to end this pandemic is through an effective vaccine, and we can be hugely proud of the effort in Wales by our research and healthcare community working with partners across the UK and internationally to develop and test vaccines. I don’t think we have ever seen vaccine research studies undertaken with all the normal safeguards but at such scale and pace that we will know what works within a matter of months rather than years. It is a great example of how health and care research makes a huge and real difference to the lives of people and communities in Wales.”
People wishing to volunteer for the Janssen trial can sign up here: https://gb.ensemblestudy.com