Sheffield expands COVID-19 vaccine trial to over-55s

  • Researches from the University of Sheffield are now looking to recruit healthy volunteers aged 56-70 and over 70 years of age in major trial
  • 200 healthy volunteers will be recruited from the Sheffield postcode - 100 in each age bracket
  • Early results of the potential new vaccine published in The Lancet show the vaccine looked to be safe and triggered the immune response thought to be important in protecting against Covid-19

Covid study

Researchers from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are looking to recruit healthy volunteers between 56 and 70 and over 70 years of age in the next phase of a major national trial to assess how well a potential new vaccine could protect against COVID-19.

The team are looking to recruit up to 200 healthy volunteers in the Sheffield postcode area, 100 in each age bracket, into the study which has already enrolled healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55.

Early study results of the vaccine, recently reported in The Lancet, showed that the vaccine looked to be safe and that it triggered the immune responses thought to be important in protecting against COVID-19.

In 1,077 healthy adult volunteers, the vaccine produced both neutralising antibodies and an effective T-cell response when given to healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years of age.

We are delighted to be expanding the study to include people aged between 56 and 70 and those over 70, and we urge anyone in these age groups who is interested and lives in the Sheffield postcode area to visit the trial website to find out more about what’s involved.

Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Oxford vaccine trial is assessing how well people across a broad range of ages could be protected from COVID-19 from this new vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. We are delighted to be expanding the study to include people aged between 56 and 70 and those over 70, and we urge anyone in these age groups who is interested and lives in the Sheffield postcode area to visit the trial website to find out more about what’s involved.”

Trial participants will be randomised to receive two doses of either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or a licensed meningitis vaccine (MenACWY) which will be used as a comparison. Participants will only be able to find out if they received the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine at the end of the trial. This is to ensure there is no bias during the trial, as people can act differently towards their health if they are aware of the vaccine they have received.

Dr Tom Darton, Florey Advanced Clinical Fellow at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals explained: “The study will take over 13 months for each participant to complete, with participants attending the clinic at the Northern General Hospital up to eight times for assessment and blood tests to check their health and to look at their immune responses to the vaccine.”

Sheffield is one of 18 sites across the UK taking part in the study, with 12,330 participants due to take part nationally. The Sheffield study is being run in partnership with the University of Sheffield, health and social care organisations, and many others including the education and transport sectors across the city. It is being supported by the Sheffield National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Facility, which is based at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals.

Get involved in the trial

 Additional information 

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Amy Huxtable
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859
a.l.huxtable@sheffield.ac.uk