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Earlier this year, when the world was somewhat uncertain, a few nurses within NDORMS received a calling. The Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) were looking for help with a Covid Vaccine Trial. Six NDORMS nurses stepped up to join the fight against coronavirus.

Some of the nurses on shift at the OVG trial. From r to l: Cushla, Louise and Shauna, with one of the OVG team taking the selfie! Some of the nurses on shift at the OVG trial. From r to l: Cushla, Louise and Shauna, with one of the OVG team taking the selfie!

Earlier this year, when the world was somewhat uncertain, a few nurses within NDORMS received a calling. The Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) were looking for help with a Covid Vaccine Trial. The call for help was wide. Around 50 Research Nurses from all over the University and Trust converged in the old John Warin ward (JWW), on the Churchill hospital site. Although the building is a little outdated, the innovative work that was going on in there was set to become a world-wide phenomenon. 

NDORMS nurses were amongst the team assembled for this Covid war. Shauna Masters, Gail Lang, Louise Strickland, Bridget Watkins, Louise Spoors and Cushla Cooper were set-up by the ever friendly and welcoming OVG team to start working on their Phase I, II and III covid vaccine studies. After some on-line training and a building induction we were in the midst of it all. The shifts were fast and furious but exciting all the same. The OVG team were supportive and calm throughout. As well as working within the old JWW, we sometimes found ourselves working in the Clinical Research Facility at the Warneford hospital and in the huge mobile unit that appeared in the car park at the Churchill. It was like working in a tent some days – but it provided the necessary space to see this huge production through. 

Working on these trials provided an opportunity to meet medical students, trialteams andother nurses from all different departments. Amongst other things, it provided a great networking and learning opportunity for us. Some of us went on to learn how to prepare and administer the vaccine, and others took on the shift coordinator role. 

Professor Andrew Pollard and the lead nurse, Hannah Robinson, are amazing team leaders. Even though only a small part, it was amazing to work amongst such a huge team effort. We felt welcomed, valued, and were even listed as part of the Oxford Covid Vaccine Trial team in the recent Lancet publication!

We’re all continuing to do shifts here and there to help the team see the follow up data collected so we can ensure the trial is completed appropriately. To see the recent interim data results was amazing, and like the rest of you, we look forward to seeing it eventually roll out to the population. 

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