What is it like taking part?
At the screening visit, the Clinician will go through the study with you, checking you have understood the information in the information sheet (the sheets that are available here). If you are happy to continue, your consent will be taken to move forward with the process which includes a short medical examination to check your blood pressure, heart rate, etc. A blood and urine sample will also be taken.
Your blood is then sent off for analysis and the Clinician writes to your GP to check whether there is anything in your medical history that could make it unadvisable for you to participate. Once your medical report and blood results have been received, the Clinician will get in touch to advise if you are eligible to participate. If you are not, you will be informed why and reimbursed for your screening appointment. If you are eligible, you will be sent dates for starting the trial and the corresponding follow-up visits that you will need to attend.
Follow-up visits usually take around 15-30 minutes, Monday-Friday, between 7.30am-11.30am. They consist of a general check-up, including blood pressure, body temperature and a blood test. Trial visits are usually for a vaccination or for a check-up. Vaccination visits take place in the morning Monday-Thursday and last around 2-2.5 hours, and we can often do early morning appointments to fit around your working day. You will receive a general medical exam again prior to any vaccination. After receiving the vaccine, you may be required to stay in the clinic for around an hour or so afterwards so that your vital signs can be checked again before you leave. For further queries, please go to our FAQ page.
What do our volunteers say?
TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA
“I’ve taken part in two Jenner Institute studies: a BCG study involving one vaccine and 6 blood tests, and a malaria study involving two vaccines and 12 blood tests. I was able to fit both in around a full-time job without taking any time off work, helped by the fact that I live and work locally.
The appointments took place in a pleasant clinic environment, and most of them were scheduled in the morning before work, with little or no waiting time. I had no pain or discomfort during or after the vaccines and blood tests – they didn’t hurt at all! And I had no side effects, although of course this will vary from person to person. All the staff are very professional, yet also friendly and helpful, and you are never treated as a ‘subject’. I was really impressed with how well-organised everything was.”
MALARIA CHALLENGE STUDY
“I took part in a malaria challenge study, and was a vaccinee, so received the vaccines before being given malaria. Purposely allowing some mosquitoes to bite my arm was a very odd experience, and lots of people thought I was a bit mad, but the whole trial is really carefully carried out, and the staff have your well-being as their priority every step of the way. Everyone was really lovely.
There were a lot of visits to attend, especially following the malaria challenge itself, so if you aren’t bothered by needles at all, and are able to have a two or three week period where you can get to their clinic every day, then I’d definitely recommend taking part. It’s quite fun sitting in the waiting room with the other volunteers, everyone discussing whether they feel ok or not! The vaccines didn’t work on me fully, but I know that they did for some others. They did delay my symptoms though, and definitely reduced their severity too I think, and I was back to normal within a couple of days.”
A malaria challenge volunteer