NNUH is proud to be playing its part in vaccine research

1 February 2021

Image Caption

The Covid-19 vaccination research team outside the NNUH-run Clinical Research Facility

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is proud to be playing its part in a Covid-19 vaccine trial, which has reported its first results overnight.

Novavax have reported that their Phase 3 trial in the UK has been 89.3% effective and was launched at NNUH last year, with support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

More than 500 participants from NHS, Norwich Research Park and local community are taking part in the trial in Norfolk, which in being run at the NNUH-run Clinical Research Facility at the Quadram Institute.

Fifteen thousand UK volunteers were invited to join the Phase three Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial. The study assessed the efficacy of the vaccine during a period with high transmission and with a new UK variant strain of the virus emerging and circulating widely.  The trial continues as it is important to determine how long the antibody response lasts.

Jenny Longmore, Director of Research Operations at NNUH, said: “The research team pulled out all the stops and are really proud to be involved this trial, which continues until November this year with routine follow-up appointments for those who have taken part in the study.”

“It is fantastic news for everyone involved in the study that the vaccine efficacy of this Phase 3 trial is so high and we are extremely grateful to everyone who volunteered to take part in this extremely important research.”

Prof Jeremy Turner, local principal investigator said: “On behalf of my co-principal investigator Dr Chris Jeanes and everyone in the team we are pleased to see such a positive result and would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all the participants who so willingly volunteered for this study and to the amazing research team at the NNUH. Well done everyone!”

The whole of NNUH’s research department – up to 50 staff, including research nurses, practitioners and administrators – were diverted to work on Covid-19 studies and some are now supporting colleagues on the Covid wards.

Sam Higginson, NNUH Chief Executive, who was one of the 500 to take part in the vaccine trial, said:  “This is great news and fantastic that our research team has been part of this. I had no hesitation in putting my name forward to take part in this Phase 3 trial and it is great to hear that so many staff and colleagues from Norwich Research Park put themselves forward.”