Participants are being sought in Northern Ireland to take part in the latest phase of a UK wide study to investigate antiviral treatments for Covid-19.

The PANORAMIC study, run by the University of Oxford, alongside the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (NICRN) has been running across the UK since December 2021 aiming to find out if new antiviral medicines help to keep people with Covid-19 from needing to be admitted to hospital and help people to get better sooner.

The study is open to adults over the age of 50 or those aged 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition that can increase the risk of developing severe Covid-19, who have received a positive Covid-19 test result, and who are experiencing symptoms that started in the previous five days.

Previously the first stage of the PANORAMIC study recruited over 25,000 participants across the UK with over 1,000 participants from Northern Ireland.

In this latest phase of the study an additional antiviral, Paxlovid, is now being investigated. Recruitment to the Paxlovid arm initially began in England and now has sites open across the UK, including Northern Ireland.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Michael McBride said: “While vaccination remains our main defence against Covid-19, we must continually look at any treatments that could help people recover more quickly, reduce the numbers needing hospital care and reduce the pressure on our health services.

“It therefore remains important to learn more about who could benefit from antivirals through studies such as this, which could not only help reduce recovery time and hospitalisation for individuals, but also help reduce pressures on our hospitals and we need your help to provide those answers.”

Further information for the public is available on NI Direct- Treatments for coronavirus (Covid-19) webpage. For more information on study eligibility and to sign up to the trial, visit: