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The National Research Ethics Committee (NREC) for COVID-19 was the first National Research Ethics Committee (NREC). It was established in early 2020 to deliver a fast-tracked review process for COVID-19 related health research. As the Committee was set up during a national public health emergency, public and/or patient representatives were not involved in designing the role of the Committee. The Committee reviewed applications from across the full spectrum of human health research including basic research, translational research, clinical research, diagnostics and treatment, population health research, social research, health services research and applied health policy research. The Committee returned decisions on a total of 93 applications submitted for ethics approval. The NREC for COVID-19 met online, weekly from April-August 2020. Committee members also completed significant pre-reading.