Health authorities call for volunteers to take part in tests to help control the spread of COVID-19

People in Northamptonshire needed to join clinical trials
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Following the announcement of new restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19, residents across Northamptonshire have been urged to take part in vital research to help tackle the pandemic.

NHS Trusts and GP practices across Northamptonshire are working with the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) East Midlands, part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to provide opportunities for residents to be involved in research into COVID-19.

So far, thousands of people across the region have already taken part in essential studies to help experts understand more about the disease. By taking part in clinical research, people are helping to establish the evidence which will lead to effective treatments or vaccines being identified and made available more widely.

Research taking place includes the testing of different drugs and treatments, studies to explore the effectiveness of newly developed vaccines, and investigations into why people from different communities are more likely to be severely affected by the disease.

The East Midlands has already made a significant contribution to research into the virus, with participants from the region involved in studies such as the RECOVERY trial, which identified that a widely available steroid can help save the lives of patients.

Speaking after the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, Professor David Rowbotham, Clinical Director at the CRN East Midlands, said: “The research response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the East Midlands has been fantastic. We are incredibly grateful to all professionals and members of the public who are involved in essential research, and we have already made enormous progress in our understanding of how the virus works and how to treat it.

“However, we cannot rest on our laurels. Now is the time to redouble our efforts and commit to using the months ahead to prioritise research into COVID-19. If we all do our bit and support this vital work then we can be confident that together we can beat this virus.”

Ways that residents can support research into COVID-19 include by:

* Signing up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry, whereby people can register to be contacted about taking part in vaccine trials (visit

* Participating in urgent research studies taking place at hospitals and GP practices which are exploring how treatments and drugs can reduce the impact of the virus (visit

* Registering to take part in the PRINCIPLE study, which enables people aged 50+ with symptoms of COVID-19 to test drugs from the comfort of their own home (visit

* Supporting the EXCEED study which is investigating why people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities seem to develop more severe COVID-19 symptoms (visit