COVID-19 vaccine trial studied in Wrexham shows promising interim results
Another global trial of a COVID-19 vaccine, which included participants from north Wales, published very promising interim results recently, showing more than 89% effectiveness against the virus.
The second of three COVID-19 vaccines trialled in Wales, this study has been delivered through a collaboration between Public Health Wales, Health and Care Research Wales and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. The UK target reached over 15,000 volunteers with nearly 500 people recruited from a 30-mile radius of Wrexham.
These are preliminary results and the study team will continue to collect more data before submitting to regulators for final review in the coming weeks.
Dr Orod Osanlou, the Principal Investigator for the Novavax trial at Public Health Wales and Consultant in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Medical Sciences (Pharmacology/Pharmacy).
He said: “Even though these are just interim results, it’s promising to see we’re moving in the right direction to hopefully secure the fourth vaccine to help fight against COVID-19 and start saving lives.
“We had such a phenomenal response to our request for trial participants in north Wales and we’re thankful to everyone for selflessly donating their time - without those individuals we wouldn’t have been able to have achieved these results.
“We’re continuing with the trial to collect follow-up data and this will help us understand the longer-term protection.”
Huw George, Deputy Chief Executive for Public Health Wales, said:
“Thanks to everyone who has participated in this trial, and to the dedicated professionals who have worked so hard on this important research. We are heartened by these interim findings, and we hope that this trial continues to yield promising results. We hope that this vaccine can eventually be added to the current available vaccines, and play an important part in the fight against Coronavirus.”
Dr Nicola Williams, Director of Support and Delivery at Health and Care Research Wales, which is nationally co-ordinating research and study-set up in Wales, said:
“We’re proud of the contribution Wales is making in the search for vaccines.
“We need multiple vaccines and ongoing research to help beat the virus and are working with national partners to continue the vaccine trial programme. Our research community and our health and social care staff, are making a real difference to finding a lasting solution to the pandemic.”
Merfyn Williams, Interim Head of the School of Medical Sciences added:
“The experience of receiving lectures from an academic who is also undertaking frontline work and research is a powerful and valuable experience for our students. We are also so proud of the fact that our colleagues at the School and elsewhere in the University, are making such vital contributions to the fight against COVID-19.”
Publication date: 3 February 2021