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NHS Lothian to play vital role in COVID-19 vaccine trial


NHS Lothian is set to become involved in a major clinical vaccine trial testing the new Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University and 17 other sites across the UK.

The vaccine study will run at both the Western General Hospital and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The aim is to enrol approximately 600 Lothian frontline health and social care workers which will include doctors, nurses, emergency department staff, paramedics, care home nurses, porters and domestics to test a new vaccine.

Screening volunteer health and social care workers is planned to begin from next week.

Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: ” We are pleased to be participating in this unprecedented clinical vaccine trial and I would like to thank everyone for their participation in this vital research.

“Their involvement will be essential in the development of a vaccine and this pioneering and important research allows us the opportunity to contribute to the development of a globally approved vaccine against Covid-19.”

The main focus of the study will be to develop a safe vaccine for use across the population.

As part of that, it will investigate the effectiveness of the vaccine, to pinpoint any side effects and to establish if it induces good immune responses against the virus.

To recruit the large number of participants needed for this trial, multiple clinical research sites across the UK are involved in delivering the study. The collaborative effort, led by the University of Oxford, will see vaccinations taking place throughout May and June.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: ” I am delighted that the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow along with NHS colleagues are taking part in the human safety trials for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oxford University.

” Scotland has a long established reputation for medical research, and I would like to thank the research community across the country. The pace of work and the commitment of teams across Scotland has been outstanding and is testament to the world-class research infrastructure and expertise we have here.

” Of course, while the prospect of an effective vaccine developed here in the UK is exciting, there is no guarantee of success and we must continue to follow the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our NHS.”

Emerge Research | Oxford COVID Vaccine Trial are looking for healthy participants and healthcare workers from across the Edinburgh and Lothian’s area to participate in a COVID Vaccine trial. You can submit a pre-screening questionnaire if interested.

Further information available here