Over 800 Falkirk folk join volunteers in COVID vaccine project

More than 800 people across Falkirk volunteered to be part of COVID vaccines studies, it has been revealed.

By Allan Crow
Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 1:26 pm
Picture Michael Gillen
Picture Michael Gillen

They signed up to a UK-wide appeal to take part in the clinical trials.

Researchers needed people to take part in studies to find out which potential vaccine is most effective, and those involved have to visit a hospital or research site every few months.

NHS Digital data showed 865 people from Falkirk signed up.

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Of those, the largest proportion (47%) were aged between 40 and 59, while 30% were aged 18 to 39.

Across Scotland as a whole, 29,500 people have signed up as the national army of volunteers reached 379,000.

The figure is still rising as people can still put themselves forward to potentially take part in clinical trials.

Not everyone who signs up will take part in a study, which normally involves answering questions, undergoing blood tests and injections – which could be the vaccine – and keeping a diary of any symptoms between hospital visits.

The NHS has worked with the National Institute for Health Research to provide a volunteer service.

Three vaccines have so far been approved in the UK.

Speaking about the approval of the Oxford vaccine, Professor Chris Whitty, who co-leads the NIHR, said: "The dedication and hard work of scientists, regulators and those who funded the research, such as the NIHR, United Kingdom Research and Innovation and United Kingdom Vaccine Network, and the willingness and selflessness of so many volunteers who took part in the vaccine trials were essential in delivering this safe and effective vaccine.

"They deserve our recognition and thanks.”

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