More than a year has passed since Covid-19 first hit the headlines, and across the world nine vaccines have received authorisation for use in various geographies. But for firms involved in researching and trialling treatments for the virus, it isn’t job-done just yet.
When it was announced that some of the major frontrunners in the race to develop a Covid-19 had succeeded in their mission, a collective sense of relief was felt, and the eyes of the public shifted from trial progress to the vaccine roll-out. But for those working in the clinical space, the priority remains with the effort to develop further treatments. With over 2,500 clinical trials in active or recruiting stage globally, opportunities for professionals in the clinical operations field are still dominated by the Covid-19 effort – particularly when it comes to the contract/freelance market.
Mutated strains of the Covid-19 virus pose a potential new threat to the geographies in which they’re circulating, adding weight to the burden already felt as a result of the pandemic. These mutations emphasise the importance of the result of these ongoing trials, almost 75% of which are in phase II or phase III stage, as researchers continue to uncover the indirect or long-term effects suffered by those who have had the virus. With the US, Germany and the UK all topping the list for the highest number of ongoing vaccine studies, demand for CRAs, clinical trial managers, and site managers is high to cope with the demand on the major trial sites in those geographies.
Shortly after the World Health Organisation first declared Covid-19 a global emergency and much of the world entered a lockdown, many ongoing and new clinical trials were halted to prioritise studies into the virus and continued later in the year. The ripple caused by the halting of these trials, along with the fact new Covid-19 vaccine trials are registered to begin each week, suggests that this high level of demand for clinical professionals will continue throughout 2021 and well into 2022. The length of Covid-19 trials being registered are also longer on average than we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, so we can expect the average contract length for freelancers to increase too.
We can expect to see more vaccines demonstrating high efficacy in the coming months, as well as a deeper understanding of the long-term effects of Covid-19 and how to treat them or stop them from occurring. The current vaccine roll-out effort continues to progress and make headlines, but in order to advance our knowledge of the virus and its variants, clinical trials and research into treatments or preventative measures for Covid-19 will continue to progress at a high level too.