The Trust has been at the heart of a major Covid-19 vaccine trial, which could lead to another vaccine, Novavax, being approved in the battle against coronavirus. At the same time its community vaccination team has this week reported a major landmark in its efforts to vaccinate care home residents and staff across the Fylde coast.
Over 600 volunteers from across the Fylde coast agreed to take part in the Novavax vaccine trial taking place at the Patient Recruitment Centre based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Layton Medical Centre. Following approval by the regulators, the vaccine will be manufactured in the North East of England.
Anyone aged between 18 to 84 was eligible to participate in the trial, with volunteers asked to take part in at least six visits over the course of around 13 months receiving two vaccinations and monitored with regular blood tests and checks to see if they contracted Covid-19.
The trial was ‘double-blind’, which meant volunteers – as well as medics – didn’t know if they had been given the vaccine or a saline placebo.
Speaking about the Trust’s key role in the success of the trial Angie Parker, Manager for Research, Development and Innovation, said: “This Is a momentous day following the news that Novavax has demonstrated its vaccine is effective against the existing and new strain of COVID-19.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our lead doctor, Dr Rebecca Clark and her team at Layton Medical Centre as well as my research team here at the Patient Recruitment Centre at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They have all worked tirelessly together to deliver this key study in record time.
“I also want to sincerely thank all the 638 volunteers from across the Fylde coast who have freely given their time to help us in the fight against COVID-19, the first patient who entered this study in the world was from Blackpool.’’
Meanwhile the community vaccination teams at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals have achieved a significant milestone after delivering the covid-19 vaccine to more than 4,500 care home residents, a week ahead of schedule.
The first vaccination took place at Annacliffe Rest Home on December 29 last year when Anne Nedderman, a senior nurse at the Trust, vaccinated a 93-year-old resident. In less than four weeks since that first care home vaccine, the team has visited care homes across the Fylde coast administering the vaccine to more than 4,500 residents and staff.
Alison Ricchiuti, Manager of Fylde & Wyre Care Home Service, was delighted with the work of the dedicated teams involved.
“It has been an emotional journey, but also one of the proudest moments of my career, and I am sure each and every member of our vaccination teams would say the same,” Alison said.
“Every member of the team has delivered the programme of work with professionalism, excellence, resilience and positivity, and have worked exceptionally hard to ensure they have vaccinated most residents and staff to protect them against this horrible virus.”