A north-east MSP who took part in a Covid trial says governments must take urgent action to help participants prove their vaccination status.
More than 430 people from the NHS Grampian area are taking part in the UK-wide study for the Novavax jab to combat coronavirus.
Douglas Lumsden, Scottish Conservative MSP for the north-east region, who is one of the trial’s volunteers, has been unable to get any proof of his vaccination status.
He is pressing both the UK and Scottish governments to resolve the situation, which he claims has “punished” those taking part.
In parliament today submitting more questions to government to allow those who took part in the Novavax Covid vaccine trials to show they have been vaccinated. These volunteers should not be disadvantaged!! @novavaxUKvol @HumzaYousaf pic.twitter.com/h3Q0B4vu8r
— Douglas Lumsden MSP (@dlumsden) July 14, 2021
The Scottish Government said those who volunteered in clinical trials will “shortly” receive a letter confirming their involvement which can be used domestically as proof of trial status.
Restrictions to ease for double jabbed
From Monday, double-jabbed travellers arriving in Scotland from ‘amber list’ destinations will no longer need to self-isolate on their return.
Instead, travellers must take a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to Scotland and return a negative result.
In addition, the blanket self-isolation requirement for all close contacts of positive Covid cases in Scotland will be scrapped from August 9 for those fully vaccinated for two weeks and who have a negative PCR test result.
Mr Lumsden, who has been fully-vaccinated since October, said: “It’s getting more and more urgent and it’s not fair on all those who took part in the trial, that we’re now being disadvantaged by taking part.
“We’re stuck in a situation where we can’t go and get another vaccine because we’ve already been vaccinated but in terms of the vaccination we’ve got, nobody seems to recognise it as yet.
“It’s really having an impact on so many people that had plans to go on holiday and can’t go because they can’t prove they’ve been vaccinated.
“The Novavax vaccine has still not been approved by government and that’s adding to the issue.
“In the north-east there were around 450 volunteers took part in the trial.
“Everyone wanted to help to try to get us out of this pandemic situation and it does feel a bit disappointing that we’re now being penalised because we took part in that trial and it shouldn’t really be like that at all.”
More than 15,000 people aged 18-84 across the UK are taking part in clinical trials for the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine.
Clinical trial results published last month showed the jab was 100% effective against preventing moderate or severe disease.
Britain has ordered 60 million doses of the vaccine, with the firm confirming it will be filing for regulatory approval by medicines regulators in the third quarter of the year.
A statement by Novavax said it “firmly believes that clinical trial participants should not be disadvantaged with respect to providing proof of vaccination”.
It added: “As noted in an open letter from Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the NHS App vaccine certificate is expected to show a ‘green tick’ by the end of July for all UK trial participants, as if they have been fully vaccinated under the standard NHS programme.”
Proof of trial status
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who has volunteered for vaccine trials in Scotland. They have all made a tremendous contribution to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to ensuring that these volunteers are not disadvantaged in any way, and work is ongoing to ensure their vaccine status is correctly presented on the vaccine database.
“Those involved in clinical trials will shortly receive a letter confirming their involvement in the trials.
“This letter can be used for domestic purposes as proof of trial status.
“However, it’s important to note that we have no plans at present to make vaccine certification a requirement of access to services in Scotland.”