In the UK, vaccines save thousands of lives every year. They are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. Vaccines have the potential to help us beat coronavirus (COVID-19).
There are different types of vaccines, and we don't know which one will work best to protect people from catching COVID-19. It might be that different vaccines are needed for different groups of people so we're planning to run a few different vaccine studies.
We need as many people as possible to take part in COVID-19 vaccine research - here's how it works:
How you can help
We can only research COVID-19 vaccines if people like you take part.
You can sign up to give permission for researchers to contact you about taking part in COVID-19 vaccine studies. By collecting details about people who are interested in taking part in vaccine studies, the service will help cut down the time it takes to find volunteers for vaccine studies. This will help us to carry out studies and find a vaccine faster.
You can sign up if you are 18 or over, and live in the UK.
You are not signing up to take part in a specific health study when you use this service. You are letting researchers know you're happy for them to contact you if they think you might be suitable to take part in their studies.
You can hear why volunteers are taking part in COVID-19 vaccine research, by watching this short interview with a participant.
Which vaccine research studies could I be contacted by?
In the UK, the research partner of the NHS is the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). Vaccine studies that are supported by the NIHR can apply to use the service, and if approved will be able to contact you. You can view studies that are currently approved to use the service and that may contact you:
What is expected of me if I volunteer?
The video below, produced by the South West Peninsula Clinical Research Network, explains what is involved when members of the public volunteer to take part in a vaccine study.
Frequently asked questions about vaccine studies
Find answers to frequently asked questions about taking part in COVID-19 vaccine studies.
Frequently asked questions about this service
Unfortunately, we cannot give a set timeframe for a researcher contacting you, and there is a chance you may not be contacted.
Every research study has both a set of criteria about which people are suitable for taking part and a target number of participants. Both of these factors will affect whether you are contacted to take part and if you are, when.
For example, there might not immediately be a study you are suitable for, but one may open up a few months after you have given your permission to be contacted. Or there may be studies you seem suitable for but that already have enough volunteers.
No. Signing up is just the first step to joining a research study.
- If you match the criteria for a vaccine study, based on the information you gave when you signed up, you may get an email from the study team telling you more about the study so you can decide if you are interested in taking part.
- If you are interested in taking part, the researcher will need to collect some more information about your health to see if you are suitable for the study. This information might be collected online or in a conversation or both.
- The researcher will update you about whether you are suitable to take part. If you are, you'll then be able to decide if you want to take part in the study or not. There will be no pressure: it's your decision.
At the current time, the NHS COVID-19 vaccine register is only open for those over the age of 18. We are looking to make ongoing improvements to it and we know that many under 18s would like to register. Some COVID-19 vaccine studies will be recruiting young people and children under the age of 18.
The studies listed on Be Part of Research have inclusion and exclusion criteria and this should tell you the age groups they are looking to recruit. They will often focus on recruiting different age groups at specific times.
I want to help but don't want to or can't take part in a vaccine study
You might wish to volunteer for another type or more specific COVID-19 research study, or see a full list of health conditions covered by studies on this site.
Who is involved?
The sign-up service is delivered in partnership between the National Institute for Health Research and NHS Digital. NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner to the health and social care system using digital technology to transform the NHS and social care.
The NIHR is working with equivalent NHS research partners in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We are also working with ZOE, the company behind the COVID symptom tracker app, although ZOE volunteers are also asked to sign up to the NHS registry.
COVID and Me Vaccine Stories
This collection of short videos have been produced to build public awareness and trust in vaccination research and the importance of being vaccinated, so that as many people can engage with vaccine research as possible. Each story is based on real patient experiences and conversations. Multiple translations are available for Varsha and Asif.