(Photo: REUTERS/Paul Childs)

The PSNC has asked community pharmacy teams to encourage their patients who have had Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to participate in a safety study about the vaccine.

The safety study on the vaccine allows the experts to quickly recognise any side effects and to act upon it, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

“Pharmacy teams are encouraged to display the poster about the study in their pharmacy and then highlight this to patients who they know have received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and encourage them to participate,” the pharmacy negotiator said.

“Patients can sign up within 28 days of receiving the vaccination or they can register their interest in taking part in the study before they are vaccinated. Patients can register by visiting goto.dsru.org/covid or by calling 0800 619 6222,” it added.

Pharmacy team members can also sign up for the study themselves if they have had the vaccine within the last 28 days or they can register their interest in taking part in the study before they are vaccinated.

The Drug Safety Research Unit (DSRU) in Southampton, an Associate Department of the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, is monitoring the safety of the vaccine by proactively collecting near ‘real-time’ data from patients receiving the vaccine.

All participants will be asked basic information about the vaccine and their health. They will then receive questionnaires at intervals for up to 18 months – the anticipated length of the study.

A random sample of participants will also be asked questions regarding their quality of life in the months following their vaccination.

The DSRU research team will collate and study information provided by participants to explore whether any side effects seen in the study population are likely to be linked to the vaccine.

The team will provide monthly updates to the pharmaceutical manufacturer and to the regulator, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority.

It will also provide a summary of the study results on its website and will publish results in scientific journals.

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