People taking part in a vaccine study at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) have shared their motivations for taking part – in the hope others might be inspired to do the same.
The main aim of the EVERGREEN trial – sponsored by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. – is to see if the study vaccine can prevent disease by respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, in older adults. Information about the safety of the study vaccine will also be collected.
RSV is a common, seasonal virus that affects the airways of the lungs and can infect people of all ages. Most people with RSV have only mild, cold-like symptoms, however, older adults can sometimes have serious complications – including inflammation of the lungs or pneumonia. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine for RSV.
At MFT, the trial is being delivered by the Trust’s Research and Innovation Vaccine Team and is actively recruiting people aged 60+.
Professor Andrew Ustianowski, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at North Manchester General Hospital and Honorary Clinical Chair at The University of Manchester, leads the study at MFT. He said: “RSV is an infection which is under appreciated, but is a common cause for people to have chest infections.
“Adults who particularly suffer are the elderly, or those who have heart or lung problems. In some cases, these can cause death.
“In Europe, RSV accounts for one to 11 per cent of all flu-like illness in under 50s, and two to 18 per cent in people 50 years and older.
“In care homes, RSV is estimated to infect five to 10 per cent of residents per year, 10 to 20 per cent of these residents will develop pneumonia, and two to five per cent of these residents will die as a result.”
Professor Ustianowski, who is also Clinical Lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) COVID Vaccine Research Programme, said: “At the moment we have no licensed or available vaccine to prevent this infection.
“If we could develop a vaccine then it could help prevent a lot of people, particularly those with heart and lung disease, from developing severe chest infections related to this virus and ending up in hospital or unfortunately dying.
“This is a large study involving 23,000 people around the world, which should give us good information on how well it protects against this virus.
“If the results are as positive, as we hope, then it will provide an important new vaccine for elderly people and people with heart or lung disease.”
The phase 3 study is blinded, meaning some participants will receive the trial vaccine and some will receive a placebo – and neither the participants, nor study team, will know which until the trial data has been analysed. Using a placebo enables researchers to assess the potential differences between the study vaccine and the placebo.
- For more information about the EVERGREEN study at MFT, please contact the research team via: email@example.com.