BACKGROUND: Developing a safe and effective vaccine will be the principal way of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic . However, current COVID-19 vaccination trials are not adequately representing a diverse participant population in terms of age, ethnicity and comorbidities . Achieving the representative recruitment targets that are adequately powered to the study remains one of the greatest challenges in clinical trial management . To ensure accuracy and generalisability of the safety and efficacy conclusions generated by clinical trials, it is crucial to recruit patient cohorts as representative as possible of the future target population . Missing these targets can lead to reduced validity of the study results and can often slow down drug development leading to costly delays .
OBJECTIVE: This study explores the key factors related to perceptions and participation in vaccination trials .
METHODS: This study involved an anonymous cross-sectional online survey circulated across the UK . Statistical analysis was done in six phases . Multi-nominal logistic models examined demographic and geographic factors that may impact vaccine uptake .
RESULTS: The survey had 4884 participants of which 9.44% were Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME). Overall , 2020 (41.4 %) respondents were interested in participating in vaccine trials; 27.6% of the respondents were not interested and 31.1% were unsure . The most interested groups were male (OR = 1.29), graduates (OR = 1.28), the 40-49 and 50-59 age groups (OR = 1.88 and OR = 1.46 respectively) and those with no health issues (OR = 1.06). The least interested groups were BAME (OR = 0.43), those from villages and small towns (OR = 0.66 and 0.54 respectively) and those aged 70 and above (OR = 1.11).
CONCLUSIONS: In order to have a vaccination that is generalisable to the entire population, greater work needs to be done in engaging a diverse cohort of participants . Public health campaigns need to be targeted in improving trial recruitment rates for the elderly, BAME community and the less educated rural population.