Professor Phil Kalra

Volunteers needed for Covid-19 vaccine study

People in Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside and Bury can help to save more lives during the Covid-19 pandemic by getting involved in vaccine research.

Research staff from the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Group, which includes the Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and Fairfield General Hospital,  are about to begin a study into a promising new vaccine against Covid-19. Clinics will be held at a community venue in Oldham from 12 to 23 November, in cooperation with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester.

Dr Biswa Mishra is a Consultant Physician at The Royal Oldham Hospital, part of the NCA. He called on residents from all sections of the community to sign up, including people from the area’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

Dr Mishra said by taking part in research studies, people would be helping to speed up efforts by doctors and scientists to identify a safe and effective vaccine.

He said: “The best way out of this pandemic is with a vaccine that protects as many people as possible.

“As we head into winter, it is very worrying that Covid-19 infections are rising in our area. Although research over the last few months has helped us identify some treatments for Covid-19, we don’t have a cure for it so it’s crucial that we try to develop an effective vaccine to prevent people becoming infected.

“Our vaccine studies need to be representative of our communities, especially those who are more likely to benefit from a vaccine, including the over 65s, frontline health and social care workers, and those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds as evidence suggests people from these communities are more at risk. The more people that get involved, the more likely it is that the vaccine will be suitable for everybody.”


You can register to take part in the NHS research trials by signing up to the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry .  Vaccines will be given by appointment only.

By registering, you are agreeing to be contacted by researchers working on vaccine studies in the NHS with details of a study that could be suitable for you. There is no obligation and you can change your mind and remove your contact details from the registry at any time.

The study starting in Oldham on 12 November is part of a series of national research projects.  Its local Principal Investigator is Professor Phil Kalra, Director of Research and Innovation at the Northern Care Alliance (main picture).

He said: “Finding an effective vaccine that can protect against this virus seems to be the best hope we have of returning our lives to how they were pre-2020.  Any vaccine must be proven to be safe and to provide reliable protection and trials of vaccination are absolutely necessary in this regard.’’

He added: “Those who take part will not only be helping their relatives and close friends in the future but they potentially may also help protect the NHS over the winter months.”

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