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New animation aims to drive clinical trial participation

To mark International Clinical Trials Day, Barts Health have released a new animation explaining what vaccines are, how they're testing in clinical trials and why representation in clinical trials is so important. 

With a particular focus on vaccine clinical trials – a topic that dominated headlines during the pandemic – the animation aims to breakdown some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding vaccine clinical trials, and to highlight their importance.

Covering topics including what vaccines are, how they’re tested and the safety of clinical trials, the video also emphasises the importance of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds taking part in clinical trials of any kind.

Dr Vanessa Apea, a consultant in sexual health and HIV at Barts Health, and a BAME clinical champion at NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames, was involved in making the animation. “Our trust serves over 2 million people in some of the most diverse boroughs in the UK. That’s why it’s vitally important that any clinical trials we carry out include people from our local communities. Only by doing this can we ensure we’re developing new tests and treatments that work for everyone we serve and care for, not just some.”

To help recruit more participants from BAME communities, this new animation will soon be available in other languages including Somali, Romanian and Bengali. And they’re hoping their staff will be the voices of these videos and offer suggestions of other languages the animation should be translated into.

Dr Apea continues: “If we want more people from our local communities to take part in clinical trials, we have to tell them why it’s important they do so in a way that resonates with them. We can’t talk about being more inclusive, but only share information in English. That’s why we will be making this video available in multiple languages, using the voices of Barts Health staff.

Neeta Patel, associate director for research engagement at Barts Health, who commissioned the video said: “If someone you know has questions about clinical trials or vaccines, this animation is for them. The video is available on the Barts Health YouTube channel, and I encourage everyone to share it far and wide with their friends, family and local communities who have questions – or are simply interested in – vaccines and clinical trials.”

If you would like to be the voice of this animation in Somali, Bengali, Urdu, Romanian or Arabic, or if there is another language you think it would be useful to translate this animation in to, please contact Neeta Patel .

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