The University of Oxford will begin a study to assess the safety and immune response of the Covid-19 vaccine that it has developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca on children for the first time.
This is seen as a potentially key step in ending the coronavirus pandemic which has devastated the global economy.
According to a report from Bloomberg, this disclosure was made by the University of Oxford through a statement on Saturday, February 13, 2021.
The University in its statement said the trial plans to enrol 300 children aged 6 to 17, to determine if the vaccine is effective on them.
The first vaccinations are expected to take place this month, with as many as 240 children receiving the coronavirus vaccine and the remainder a meningitis shot, which should produce similar side effects. A larger trial involving thousands of children is expected to be conducted by Astra in the United States later.
What the Lead Investigator on the trial is saying
The Lead Investigator on the trial, Andrew Pollard, at an interview with Bloomberg said, ‘’The phase II study will take place at three cities across the U.K. — London, Southampton and Bristol — and assess the safety and immune responses in children. Investigators will test the shot on kids aged 12 to 17 first before moving to the younger age group, with initial data expected by summer.’’
He said the study will look at two dosing regimens one month and three months apart.
Going further, Pollard said, ‘’We planned to conduct child trials from the beginning to make sure that we had the greatest opportunity for access across all ages to the vaccine. I’m absolutely delighted that today we’re launching the pediatric trials after this long road that we’ve been on.”
What you should know
- The 2-dose Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been hailed as a vaccine for the world because it is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals.
- The trial of Covid-19 vaccines on Bottom of Form children began at the end of last year after the safety and efficacy concerns of the frontrunner vaccines had been established in adults.
- Pfizer Inc., which has an approved vaccine for people aged 16 and over, completed enrollment for its trial of 12-to-15-year-olds last month with more than 2,000 children tested. Moderna Inc. is also conducting the trial of its vaccine on teenagers and Johnson & Johnson is expected to start child trials soon.