More than 1000 Aberdeenshire residents volunteer for coronavirus vaccine studies

The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine is under way, giving hope for a way out of the crisis which changed our lives nearly a year ago.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:09 am
Volunteers have played a crucial role in helping develop a vaccine.
Volunteers have played a crucial role in helping develop a vaccine.

But developing a vaccine wouldn’t have been possible without a pool of volunteers, with more than 1,000 people from Aberdeenshire putting their name forward to be a part of the effort.

Researchers need people to take part in studies to find out which potential vaccine is most effective, and those involved are required to visit a hospital or research site every few months.

NHS Digital data shows 1,185 people from Aberdeenshire had volunteered to take part in coronavirus vaccine studies as of Thursday morning.

Of those, the largest proportion (41 per cent) were aged between 40 and 59, while 36 per cent were aged 60 to 79.

Across Scotland as a whole, 29,500 people had signed up by January 7, as the national army of volunteers reached 379,000.

The figure is rising daily, as people can still put themselves forward to potentially take part in clinical trials.

Not everyone who signs up will take part in a study, which normally involves answering questions, undergoing blood tests and injections – which could be the vaccine – and keeping a diary of any symptoms between hospital visits.

The NHS, which worked with the National Institute for Health Research to provide a volunteer service, said: “Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. They are designed so they do not give people the infection they’re protecting against.

“Research into vaccines is the only way to find out which ones will work.”

Two vaccines have so far been approved in the UK – the Pfizer vaccine, which was rolled out in December, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which came into use this week after approval at the end of 2020.