Newcastle residents are being urged to sign up to the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine research registry.

Information provided by volunteers can help to provide data for researchers, who are working towards developing a potential vaccine for the Coronavirus.

A number of potential vaccines have been identified in the UK but large scale trials and results can provide scientists with more widespread information on how effective each vaccination is.

The Registry wants half a million people to sign up by 2020 and people from all backgrounds, ages and those with underlying health conditions are encouraged to volunteer. A diverse sample of participants increases the chances of a successful vaccine.

Residents who sign up for the Registry will be contacted and asked a series of questions relating to their health. Volunteers will then be contacted by research teams and asked if they would like to take part in relevant research studies, but there is no obligation to take part.

Councillor Irim Ali, cabinet member for Public Health and Neighbourhoods said: “Residents in Newcastle have already shown great spirit throughout this pandemic and I know they are all willing to go the extra mile to protect the city and start its recovery.

“This is another opportunity for them to play their part and join the fight against the virus.

“Developing a vaccine is essential in overcoming this pandemic and anyone that registers will be helping our brilliant scientists and NHS partners to develop this game-changing medical breakthrough.

“Just five minutes of your time could help the city, the country and your community return to normal life.”

Chris Speed, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria said: “We need people to volunteer to take part in vaccine research for COVID-19. This new online service is a vital tool in the planning and delivery of COVID-19 vaccine research.  Having a registry of people who would like to be considered as volunteers in vaccine research means we can quickly and easily reach them when a suitable trial begins.

“We will have a number of large-scale vaccine studies starting soon in Newcastle and across the wider North East and North Cumbria area. I encourage people to sign up themselves and share the link with family and friends so they can consider signing up too.”

Anyone interested in volunteering and signing up should visit NHS.uk/researchcontact or follow the #bepartofresearch hashtag on social media.