IslamNews – The University of Oxford will begin testing the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca Plc on children, potentially a key step in ending the global pandemic.
The Oxford trial plans to enroll 300 children aged 6 to 17, the university said in a statement. The first vaccinations will take place this month, with as many as 240 kids 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 US later.
The phase II study will take place at Oxford and three cities across the UK – 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, Andrew Pollard, lead investigator on the trial, said in a Bloomberg interview.
The study will look at two dosing regimens one month and three months apart, Pollard said.Child trials started in earnest at the end of last year after the safety and efficacy 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 testing its shot on teenagers and Johnson & Johnson is expected to start child trials soon.