THE North-East has seen the lowest rate of volunteers signing up to take part in coronavirus vaccine trials.
NHS researchers are urging people from all backgrounds, ages and parts of the UK to take part in the trials when they start in the coming months.
Researchers in County Durham and Darlington, who have just been given an award for their outstanding contribution to coronavirus studies, are urging people to sign up.
A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust said: “There are a number of vaccines being identified and safety-tested at the moment, but only large scale studies can give researchers the information needed about how effective they are.
“The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is working with the NHS to recruit half a million people onto the NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry by October.
“Those who volunteer and sign up will be contacted by researchers to take part in Covid-19 vaccine research in the coming months.
“Researchers are looking for people from all backgrounds, ages and parts of the UK, with or without existing health conditions, to take part in vaccine studies.
“Without volunteers, we can’t find out which vaccines are going to be effective.
“Our region currently has the lowest rate for signing up for vaccine trials.
“By taking part, you could help researchers find vaccines to protect us all more quickly – which in turn could help the NHS and save lives.”
There are currently two national coronavirus vaccine studies approved by NIHR in the UK, run by the University of Oxford and Imperial College London.
It is not yet known what type of vaccine will be the most effective in protecting people from catching Covid-19 and a number of different studies are planned.
Members of the public are being asked to sign up to take part in vaccine studies.
To find out more visit https://bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk/vaccine-studies/