As we adapt to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to support the UK's best medical and health researchers and ensure their voices are included in the important decision-making ahead.
[Page last updated 6 May 2022]
Our policy work on preparedness, testing, vaccines and more helps build the research base for tackling COVID-19.
COVID-19: in the future
Two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic our President, Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, takes a look back at what we have learnt and what the future may hold. Read more in her blog: COVID-19 two years on. You can also read our review of the Academy through the pandemic (published November 2021) here.
Robust, accessible scientific research is critical in pandemics. In January 2020 we collectively called for rapid open sharing of COVID-19 data in line with our shared 2016 principles on data sharing in public health emergencies. We require grant awardees to make peer-reviewed original research freely publically available. Our open-access drug development database is helping scientists prioritise preclinical COVID-19 drug research.
We previously explored how to rapidly test new vaccines on healthy adult volunteers through controlled human infection model studies, including a 2018 workshop on practical and ethical oversight needed for this research.
We rapidly developed COVID-19 mental health and neuroscience research priorities with MQ (published April 2020) which were used by NIHR to incentivise mental health research proposals. As seen in BBC News, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and more. We continue follow-up work and in October 2021 published a joint report on COVID-19 mental health research progress.
We reviewed COVID-19 immunology key questions with the British Society for Immunology (May 2020), and this project's expert group grew into the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium. Our broader pandemic policy work includes: a review of our COVID-19 work (July 2020); supporting work on ethical frameworks for asymptomatic testing of staff in workplaces and students in higher education institutions (March 2021); exploring the use of neuraminidase inhibitors in influenza; a pandemic influenza report (2005), and 2007 pandemic influenza follow-up work.
We help ensure clear, up-to-date COVID-19 information so people can discuss what that science means for our society.
Press and media
Our Press Office works directly the Science Media Centre to ensure journalists access the UK's best medical and health experts. Our President and Vice-Presidents routinely provide expert comment in national and international media alongside ongoing response statements to key developments. We centre patients and the public in our pandemic work: read our overarching policy principles here.
We engage patients throughout our pandemic policy work. We have empowered young adults to discuss COVID-19 through a graphic story: DIVOC-91, co-created by artists, our medical researchers, and young people across three continents.