World-first COVID-19 vaccine trial in Bradford just days away

BRADFORD Royal Infirmary is just days away from rolling out a world first COVID-19 vaccine trial.

The development once again puts researchers at the hospital – part of Bradford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) – in the spotlight, highlighting their commitment to improving the lives of patients and local communities.

The Trust will be working with partner trusts and GPs in the delivery of the world’s first Phase 3 study to test the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, developed by US biotechnology company Novavax.

The trial is due to start in the first week of October, and will see Bradford become one of only three regional and one of 20 national centres to deliver it.

Consultant Respiratory Physician Professor Dinesh Saralaya, who will be leading the study at BTHFT said: “This is great news for Bradford and our ‘City of Research’ that at last the vaccine trials are getting underway.

“The Novavax vaccine trial will involve 500 recruits and we are hoping to vaccinate 50 people per day – or 250 people per week.


“Our key role will be to test in real-life whether these vaccines provide immunity against COVID-19, and give us the strongest possible protection from becoming infected and unwell. Volunteers will be given two doses of the vaccine; one on their first day and a second on day 21. They will then be monitored for 12 months.

“The trial centre will be away from the hospital as we recognise that some people are nervous about attending hospital buildings at this time.”

Prof. Saralaya added that all those taking part would be aged 18 and over and would not have had COVID-19.

“Anyone involved in the trials needs to be antibody negative in order for the vaccine to be effective. People will be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the trial and anyone who tests positive for the virus will be unable to take part,” he said.

Further vaccine trials are expected to begin in November this year.

Hundreds of people have already signed up to become volunteers for the COVID-19 trials via the Trust’s microsite and the National COVID-19 Vaccine Registry but Dr Saralaya stressed that many more were still needed.

“We are looking for thousands of volunteers for a number of vaccine trials. Bradford is part of the global race for a vaccine and we are calling on our local community to get involved.

“This is the only way that we can save as many lives as possible during the pandemic if Bradford people sign up. It is also vitally important that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) sign up too.”

People can find out how to volunteer here



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Note to Editors:

  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

Follow us on Twitter: @BTHFT

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity: