Michael and Tish's story

Michael, a former educational publisher, and Tish, a former school secretary, had never been involved in a study before but were glad to have the novel opportunity of being part of scientific research. 

COVID-19 participants

Michael, 84, and Tish, 81, despite not having had the virus, decided to take part in a COVID-19 study for people aged over 80. 

After having their COVID-19 vaccines, they were approached and asked if they would like to join the NIHR BioResource and take part in a clinical research study, known as “NBR 118”. The study aims to understand how the SARSCoV-2 virus responds to both doses of either the Oxford AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination. This will help us understand whether our current vaccines help against severe disease. Preliminary findings suggest that people who are vaccinated with the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccines are highly protected from severe coronavirus infection. Additionally, the level of protection is significantly greater after having had both vaccine doses compared to one.  

Michael and Tish found the experience of volunteering straightforward and positive. “Everyone at the BioResource clinic is very friendly,” they said. “Everything was done to make it easier for us.” Having blood samples taken was also an easy process, and neither Michael nor Tish experienced side effects. “There is nothing to worry about”, they said. “It was all very easy, very friendly, and nothing hurts.”     

After this positive experience taking part in their first clinical research study, Michael and Tish are keen to be involved in further scientific investigations going forward. They are particularly interested in cancer research, having had family members affected by the disease.  

They say they see no reason for not taking part in studies, and would recommend volunteering to other people. “We like to be helpful” they said. 

If you are interested in joining the NIHR BioResource and having the opportunity to participate in clinical research, please contact the BioResource team via 0800 090 2233 or nbr@bioresource.nihr.ac.uk  


Below are some articles published using the findings of this COVID-19 related research:  

  1. MlcochovaP, Kemp S, Dhar MS, et al. SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 Delta variant replication and immune evasion. Nature 2021. 

Available at:   



  1. Collier DA, De Marco A, Ferreira IATM,et al.Sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 to mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies. Nature 2021; 593: 136–41. 

Available at:   



  1. Collier DA, Ferreira IATM, Kotagiri P,et al.Age-related immune response heterogeneity to SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2. Nature 2021.  

Available at:  

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03739-1 ​