27 April 2021
Healthy adults living in north London are being offered the chance to participate in a clinical trial for a new COVID-19 vaccine.
The Valneva vaccine study is being rolled out at sites across the UK, including the Royal Free Hospital – with the aim of recruiting a total of 4,000 volunteers.
The study is open to healthy adults who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination. Participants will receive two active vaccine doses, administered with a four-week interval.
Those over the age of 30 will be randomised to receive two doses of either the Valneva vaccine, or the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Those aged 18 - 29 will receive the Valneva vaccine and will not be offered the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in line with advice from the government’s vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, which has recommended that people aged 18 -29 be offered an alternative vaccine where available..
The study is being supported by the National Institute of Health Research.
The vaccine is being manufactured at Valneva’s site in Livingston, West Lothian, and is the only inactivated, adjuvanted (an ingredient to create a stronger immune response) COVID-19 vaccine in clinical development in Europe. An inactivated vaccine is a vaccine consisting of virus particles that have been grown in a culture and prepared in a way that they lose their disease producing capacity, but allow your body to recognise the coronavirus and defend itself against COVID-19.
Dr Fiona Burns, who is leading the trial for the Royal Free London which starts next week, said: “We strongly encourage people to sign up to this trial - the more safe and effective vaccines we have, the better we can protect the population from COVID-19.”
“The purpose of this study is to compare the safety and measures of the immune response against COVID-19 disease between the vaccines. Unlike some other vaccine trials where people receive trial vaccine or a placebo injection, everyone in this study will receive a COVID-19 vaccine and the main outcome being measured is the immune response, not the occurrence of disease, alongside rates of any common side effects.”
Following the study, Valneva aims to submit data to regulatory bodies in autumn this year.
If Valneva’s vaccine is shown to be safe and effective, up to 250 million vaccine doses could be supplied to the UK and other countries around the world. As part of the UK government’s vaccine procurement approach, up to 100 million doses of this vaccine have been secured.