Coronavirus: Research

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Allan Dorans Allan Dorans Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into the efficacy of a covid-19 vaccine in older people.

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The University of Oxford / Astra Zeneca Phase 3 trial includes arms that specifically looks at safety and efficacy of the vaccine in those aged between 56 – 69 and over 70. For these groups, researchers are assessing the immune response to the vaccine in people of different ages, to find out if there is variation in how well the immune system responds in older people. Other vaccine developers that the Government are working with may also decide to include specific groups such as these in their trials.

In addition to the work that vaccine developers are undertaking, the Government has funded the NHS Registry, developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This national registry is encouraging people who may be disproportionately affected by COVD19, such as older people, older people with underlying health conditions and people from different ethnic groups, to volunteer for clinical trials. This includes supporting the development of communications materials to provide information on taking part in COVID 19 vaccine trials via the NIHR website (Be Part of Research).

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