Vaccine trial to recruit 10,000 people

United Kingdom // 24 May, 2020

Updated 24 May: The director of the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, has told media that the vaccine trial which he is leading is in a race against time, with only a 50% chance of success. With decreasing rates of COVID-19 in the population across the UK, the trial of the front running ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine may not yield results to tell whether it is effective at protecting people from becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Published 22 May: Oxford University and AstraZeneca are recruiting around 10,000 adults and children in Britain for the next phase of in human trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, to see how well the human immune system responds to the vaccine and how safe it is. Researchers are mainly looking for healthcare staff and other public-facing workers to join the trial as they need a minimum number of participants to catch the virus in order to get a clear idea of the vaccine's effectiveness.

An initial trial (Phase I) was started on 23 April and more than 1,000 volunteers aged 18-55 received the vaccine the next phase (II) will add people aged 56 and older as well as children aged 5 to 12 years. Phase III will involve assessing how well the vaccine works in a large number of people over the age of 18.The Oxford University have stated that results on how well the vaccine works may take between two and six months. Healthy volunteers will be randomly assigned to either receive the ChAdOx1 vaccine or a meningitis vaccine. They will not know which group they are in so their behaviour is not influenced.

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