Oxford University moves to second phase of vaccine trial against coronavirus

International
Typography

“The clinical studies are progressing very well and we are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults,” Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said.

The University of Oxford has taken its human trial of vaccine against coronavirus to the second phase, which will involve over 10,000 people, according to a BBC report.

The first phase of the trial that began in April, involving 1,000 healthy adults aged 55 and under, has been completed. Trials of the same vaccine on monkeys appear to have given them some protection against the disease. The animals had less of the virus in their lungs and airways, but it is not certain this finding will translate to people.

Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “The clinical studies are progressing very well and we are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults, and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population”.

Scientists have started recruiting up to 10,260 people across the country for phases II and III, which involve vastly increasing the number of volunteers and expanding the age range to include older adults and children, the BBC report said.

Adult participants in both the Phase II and Phase III groups will be randomised to receive one or two doses of either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a licensed vaccine (MenACWY). Researchers will then compare the number of infections in both groups. This could take between two and to six months, depending on how many people are exposed to the virus.

The phase III part of the study involves assessing how the vaccine works in a large number of people over the age of 18. This group will assess how well the vaccine works to prevent people from becoming infected and unwell with COVID-19.

The scientists behind the vaccine have previously said they are aiming to have at least a million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by September this year. But the UK government has repeatedly said there are no guarantees - and a vaccine could still be some way off.

Most experts still estimate it will take 12 to 18 months to develop and manufacture a vaccine. There are more than 100 experimental vaccines against Covid-10 currently being developed worldwide.

Image Credit: Business Today

All Comments