Clinical researchers praise Nottinghamshire volunteers for Covid vaccine and treatment trials

Scientists battling to understand and respond to COVID-19 have paid tribute to the thousands of volunteers from Nottinghamshire who have taken part in research trials during 2020.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 10:15 am

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 20,000 East Midlands residents have been involved in more than 70 urgent studies supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Professor David Rowbotham, of the University of Leicester and director of the NIHR East Midlands clinical research network , said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone across Nottinghamshire who has supported the research response to COVID-19.

“Research has helped us to understand more about how the virus affects people and enabled us to identify the groups at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill.”

Nottinghamshire residents have played a vital role in developing Covid vaccines and drug treatments. (Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “The past few months have been difficult but together we have made enormous progress.

“This would not have been possible without the dedication and determination of people across Nottinghamshire to be part of this enormous research effort, and I want to express my immense gratitude to all that have been involved.”

30 NIHR studies are being carried out exclusively in the East Midlands, with hospitals and GP practices encouraging patients to take part and providing them with necessary support.

Already that work has helped identify dexamethasone as a drug that can reduce mortality among patients who have been hospitalised, and tested the effectiveness of several different vaccine candidates.

Studies are also now exploring ‘long Covid’ which leaves some people with effects for weeks or months beyond the initial illness.

Although the Government has now begun rolling out a vaccine via the NHS, trials are continuing to explore alternatives which may work better for some groups of people, offer more long-lasting protection, or better prevent infection and transmission.

Volunteers are still needed to take part in this work, particularly people from minority ethnic groups who are disproportionately affected by the disease but underrepresented in trials.

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