More than 100,000 people in the U.K. have volunteered to take part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial as the country continues its search for a remedy for the disease.
Researchers want volunteers from all parts of society, especially those who are more likely to benefit from a vaccine, including the over 65s, frontline health and social care workers, and those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
“I’m really grateful to the volunteers who have signed up to the NHS vaccine registry so that we have reached the important milestone of 100,000 people registered in less than a month. I also want to praise the staff from the research community, NIHR and NHS, who have worked so well in partnership to achieve rapid recruitment into trials to tackle COVID-19. I would encourage everyone who hasn’t already signed up to look at the website and consider whether they would like to join the register, before the large-scale vaccine trials start in the coming weeks,” said Chief Executive of the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network Dr William van’t Hoff.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said clinical studies with a diverse pool of volunteers will help scientists and researchers better understand the effectiveness of each vaccine candidate and will considerably speed up efforts to discover a safe and workable vaccine.
The U.K.is one of the worst-hit countries globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, having reported 320,345 infections and 46,791 deaths.