“IF WE are going to come out of lockdown and go back to normal, we need to find a vaccine”.

Those are the words of lead clinical researcher Dr Saul Faust, who is looking for participants for the next stage of a vaccine trial, which may protect against COVID-19.

The city doctor says trials need to happen to make sure vaccines are safe “rather than make assumptions”.

The initial trial - called phase one - of the drug, which also involved healthy volunteers between ages 18 and 55 from the city, went well, say those leading the programme.

Daily Echo:

Dr Faust said: “The early stages of the phase one trial have gone very well.

"We are relying on more volunteers. Half of those involved will be given a vaccine against meningitis and sepsis vaccine, while the other half get a coronavirus vaccine."

He now seeks to recruit up to 620 new volunteers, in three categories, the first being 250 people aged 18 to 55 who come into possible contact with Covid-19 patients at work, such as those in the health sector.

The other categories are one group of 120 healthy people over 70, and a further healthy group of 250 people over 55.

Dr Faust added: “We need to find out how the immune system works with the vaccine, so we are testing healthy people who are not affected by other conditions.

“We will first do a blood test to see if participants have had Covid-19, and once we have a result, we will see them one week later for a vaccine visit.

Daily Echo:

“If we are going to be able to come out of lockdown and go back to normal, we need to find a vaccine," said Dr Faust.

"We have to do trials to ensure vaccines are safe. We then work out how and if they work, rather than make assumptions."

In phase two, researchers will assess how well the immune system responds to the vaccine in different ages.

Phase three will involve assessing how the vaccine works in people over 18, to test how the vaccine works to prevent people from being infected and unwell with Covid-19.

To take part, visit covid19vaccinetrial.co.uk/volunteer.