Hundreds of volunteers have benefited from a vaccine trial organised by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

A total of 517 people signed up for the Novavax trial last summer.

Half received the Novavax jab, while the others were given a placebo, meaning those who took part had a 50/50 chance of being protected from Covid-19.

The research team at NHSGGC has now ‘unblinded’ volunteers who have received their invitation for a vaccine from the UK-wide programme.

Now, 39% of those involved, 204 individuals, have found out if they had received the Novavax vaccine or the placebo.

Chloe Cowan, clinical research manager at NHSGGC, said: “We would rarely unblind participants during a clinical trial, so this is quite unique.

“Once the participant has been offered the vaccine, we unblind them straight away to see whether or not they should attend without delay. This means we can cancel the appointment if they had already received it and offer the slot to someone else.

“Thanks to the efficiency and speed of the rollout of the national vaccine programme, many of our participants have already found out their result.”

Research into Covid-19 over the past year has relied on members of the public stepping forward as volunteers for trials.

Alongside the Novavax trial, NHSGGC has contributed to the success of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as the RECOVERY trial, which resulted in the first effective treatment of the virus.

Professor Julie Brittenden, director of research and innovation, has thanked local residents who have volunteered for trials to improve understanding, prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

“This kind of research will benefit us all,” she said. “We encourage everyone to look at what studies we offer to see if they would be interested.”

NHSGGC is currently recruiting members of the public to help test new Covid-19 treatment if they have been recently diagnosed with the illness.

This study will assess the effectiveness of an antiviral tablet to help with symptoms and reduce the time it takes to recover.

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