Thousands of people who took part in Covid-19 trials are unable to prove their vaccination status, prompting calls for ministers to intervene.
Trial participants have described being “trapped” and “in limbo” because they are unable to get a licensed Covid-19 vaccine or travel abroad.
Around 15,000 Britons took part in the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial. The vaccine is yet to be approved for use in the UK.
People who took part have said that despite being vaccinated, and volunteering to enhance medical science early on in the pandemic, they are unable to enjoy the same freedoms as the general population.
A petition has been launched on change.org calling for Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, to intervene.
The petition, launched by the Novavax UK Concerned Participants Group, states that UK volunteers are “significantly disadvantaged” because they face barriers to travel and are unable to get another Covid-19 vaccine.
“We call on the ministers to rectify the situation immediately so that Novavax volunteers can travel as freely as other vaccinated people,” the petition states.
Retiree Gill Ince, who participated in the trial in September 2020, said she felt like she was “living in limbo”.
The 61-year-old, from Oxfordshire, said: “I stepped forward early in the pandemic to participate in a vaccine trial.
“I wanted to do my bit to fight Covid but I feel utterly betrayed by the system and I’m trapped without any vaccination status.
“I was given reassurances that I would not be disadvantaged in anyway at a later date.
“We have no idea if, where or when Novavax will be approved so now we are living in limbo. It’s incredibly stressful and I feel like a prisoner.
“It feels like the most awful situation I’ve ever been put in in my life, because I can’t do anything.”