COVID-19 vaccine research

COVID-19 vaccine research

Watch Vaccines for All: a community conversation about covid-19 vaccines research

Vaccines for All - a community conversation about COVID-19 vaccines research

Following the opening of the new Vaccines Trials Centre in Bethnal Green, we held a community conversation on Monday 7 December, with faith and community leaders, healthcare professionals and clinical academics. The session included a series of short talks to discuss Covid-19 vaccines research and why it's important that people from all ethnicities, ages and health groups take part. If you missed it, you can now watch the recording here.

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COVID-19 Vaccine trials

Our vaccine trial centre is open – contact us to enrol in a vaccine trial

At Barts Health NHS Trust, we’re proud to say we have opened our first COVID-19 vaccine trial and are inviting people from across London to take part. 

The study, ENSEMBLE-2, co-funded by the UK government’s Vaccine Taskforce, will test the safety and effectiveness of a new two-dose regimen for a vaccine candidate, developed by The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

The study will recruit up to 30,000 people worldwide with 6,000 of them in the UK, and Barts Health is looking to enrol around 400 participants.

Staff from all hospital sites across Barts Health, together with Queen Mary researchers, will be working together, alongside medical school students and Trust volunteers, to run the trial at the centre.

To facilitate the safe delivery of these vaccine clinical trials, we have opened the Barts Health Vaccines Trials Centre, based at the iconic Bethnal Green library. Opening a bespoke vaccine clinical trials centre like this allows the Trust to facilitate vaccine clinical trials without adding extra pressures to our hospitals. On top of this, the centre is in line with the Trust’s COVID-19 safe working environment, which we hope will put participants at ease and encourage members of the local population to take part. This is of vital importance because we need people from all ethnicities, minorities, age and health groups to take part in vaccine trials to ensure any vaccines developed work for everyone. 

Recruitment into the ENSEMBLE-2 study, which will be led locally by Professor Patrick Kennedy, will complete in March 2021 and the study will last for 12 months.

Professor Patrick Kennedy, principal investigator for the study and honorary hepatologist consultant at Barts Health, said:

“While the recent data from the Pfizer phase three study represents a potential major breakthrough in tackling the Covid public health emergency, we will still have to overcome significant challenges before we have a number of safe and effective vaccines which are available globally.

“More vaccine trials are needed to better understand how effective they will be in different age groups, in people with chronic medical conditions and for how long the vaccines will provide immunity.  

If you’d like to register your interest for taking part in this and other trials email your full name and contact telephone number to our team

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Read more about COVID-19 vaccine research

What are vaccines? 

Since the arrival of COVID-19 there has been a lot of discussion about vaccines. But what exactly is a vaccine?  From birth we are all exposed to bugs and microbes that can cause illness. Our bodies are designed to recognise these bugs and use the immune system to fight off infections. 

Vaccines are a way of preventing infections by training the immune system to respond to infection without actually having an infection or getting sick.

The vaccines that are being developed for COVID-19 are using different strategies to trigger an immune response.

They do this by showing the immune system proteins or genetic material that is similar to the actual coronavirus but which does not make people ill.

Researchers look to ensure that vaccines work on as many people as possible, including children and the elderly. So any testing needs to be very safe to undertaken in a carefully managed way.

FAQs - read through some of the most commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccine trials

Barts Health COVID-19 Research PPIE Advisory Group

The Barts Health COVID-19 Research Patient and Public Inolvement and Engagement (PPIE) Advisory Group was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily to provide a forum for those who are interested in working together to promote COVID-19 research and related patient and public involvement/engagement. 

The lay advisory group consists of local patient representatives, Barts Health Patient Research Champions and staff from the Barts Health Research Engagement and Diffusion team. 

The group currently meets monthly to discuss the development of projects in raising awareness of COVID-19 research and the related patient and public involvement. 

Read the Terms of Reference for the advisory group

For more information email the Barts Health Research Engagement and Diffusion team 

Two of our lay advisors, Paul and Ellie.