Wales to play major role in national trial for COVID-19 vaccine

Wales will play a vital role in finding a way out of the coronavirus pandemic as part of the next phase of a UK-led study.

The University’s Centre for Trials Research is part of a collaboration co-ordinated by Health and Care Research Wales and involving Public Health Wales and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, that will take part in the next phase of the vaccine trial sponsored by the University of Oxford and funded by CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) UK Research and Innovation.

Public Health Wales will lead the recruitment of 500 participants within Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for the Oxford Vaccine Group COVID-19 vaccine trial.

The aim is to find a safe vaccine that will develop immunity against the virus and thus prevent the disease. The study aims to recruit 10,000 participants overall.

COVID-19 vaccine development is a vital part of the long-term response to the coronavirus pandemic and Wales will be joined by multiple other sites across the UK as part of phase 2/3 of the study.

This phase of the trial is not open to members of the public.

Volunteers will be staff aged 18 and over working within health and care settings within the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area. This will include hospitals, GP practices, pharmacy, physiotherapy, community care and other non-clinical professions within secondary care who are deemed at risk of exposure to coronavirus. Eligible participants will receive details from the health board about how to participate if they wish.

Dr Chris Williams, Principal Investigator for Public Health Wales and lead for the vaccine trial in Wales, said: “This is an important study to test the effectiveness of one of the main candidate vaccines for COVID-19 in Wales.”

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