Oxford University expands COVID-19 vaccine trial to seniors and children

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Up to 10,260 adults and children will be enrolled in coronavirus vaccine trials (File)

London:

The University of Oxford said on Friday that it is recruiting thousands of volunteers for the next phase of human trials of a coronavirus vaccine which it says is “progressing very well”.

Up to 10,260 adults and children will be enrolled as this widens the age range of people receiving the sample vaccine and involves a number of partner institutions across Britain.

The university in south-central England started its first trials in April, administering more than 1,000 vaccinations, with follow-up ongoing, she added.

“Clinical studies are progressing very well,” said Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

“We are currently undertaking studies to assess the extent to which the vaccine induces immune responses in the elderly and to test whether it can provide protection in a wider population.”

However, Pollard said on BBC radio that it was “not possible to predict” when the potential vaccine could be ready for a wider population.

“It is very difficult to know exactly when we will have proof that the vaccine works,” he said.

“Eight lawsuits in progress”

Much depended on having enough people who had been exposed to COVID-19 in the next phase of the trial, he added.

University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has signed an agreement that could see up to 30 million 100 million doses for the UK market available by September.

Oxford’s efforts involve its multidisciplinary group of vaccines, created in 1994 to study new and improved inoculations, and the Jenner Institute, which works on human and animal diseases.

It is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus – a common cold virus – which has been genetically engineered to stop the replication of COVID-19 in humans.

The first phase of trials involved 160 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55.

The next phase of the study will include seniors and children between the ages of five and 12.

A third series of trials will then assess how the vaccine works “in a large number of people over the age of 18”.

The university’s potential vaccine is one of only eight in the world to have started trials, according to the World Health Organization, which has 118 different projects in total.

The British government, which has invested around £ 85 million ($ 104 million, € 95 million) in funding, has called it a “leader” in global vaccine research.

AstraZeneca said Thursday it has raised more than $ 1.0 billion from the United States to help finance vaccine production.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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