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UoN To Lead World’s Largest Care Home Trial Against Covid-19

Safa Shahid

In a new trial, experts at the University of Nottingham are to test drugs for preventing Covid-19 in care homes. They aim to reduce the transmissibility and severity of Covid-19 cases.

The trial, named ‘PROTECT’, is looking for around 400 care homes to take part. With more than half of Covid-19 deaths in the UK occurring in care homes, they are the most vulnerable group in society against the virus.

Multiple different strategies have been used to get care homes on board.

In an interview, Professor Philip Bath, lead author of PROTECT, added that the “sheer size of the trial and the fact that care homes are not used to doing research” have been obstacles of the research and that multiple different strategies have been used to get care homes on board.

Though vaccines are now available, Professor Bath points out that “vaccines are but one pillar of reducing Covid-19, with the others as personal hygiene and PPE. But the virus is mutating and we need further measures especially the ability to prevent an outbreak using drugs as it starts.”

The groundbreaking trial is one of the first to look at providing other preventative treatments, apart from the vaccine.

All care home residents across the UK were offered a Covid-19 vaccine

The trial is funded by the National Institute for Health Research for two years. It is anticipated that the first drugs will take several months to be assessed. The University of Nottingham is working alongside experts at the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Cardiff, Surrey, Warwick and Queen’s University Belfast and University College London.

Last month, all care home residents across the UK were offered a Covid-19 vaccine. A milestone has been reached by the government as it continues its vaccine rollout program to the wider population.

If the drug trial proves to be successful, it could have a lasting impact on the severity of the pandemic going forwards.

Safa Shahid 

Featured image courtesy of Prachatai on Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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