Oxford University and AstraZeneca are recruiting approximately 10,000 adults and children in the UK for trials with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, one day after receiving US funding of $ 1.2 billion.
Institutions across Britain had started enrolling up to 10,260 adults and children to see how well the human immune system responds to the vaccine and how safe it is, the university said.
Researchers are mainly looking for health care workers and other public sector workers to participate in the trial because, in order to get a clear signal about the vaccine’s effectiveness, they need a minimum number to take the corona virus in their daily lives.
A first trial that began on April 23 has already received the injection for more than 1,000 volunteers ages 18-55, and Oxford said stages II and III will add people ages 56 and older and children ages 5 to 12.
“The speed with which this new vaccine has advanced into late-stage clinical trials is evidence of Oxford’s groundbreaking scientific research,” said AstraZeneca director Mene Pangalos.
But a readout on how well the vaccine works can take between two and six months, Oxford University said Friday.
The British drug manufacturer has already signed up Britain and the United States as partners for the mass production of the vaccine, to be ready for delivery if there is convincing evidence that it is both effective and safe to use.
AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said last month that an initial indication of efficacy is likely to come in June or July.
Healthy volunteers are randomly assigned to receive either the ChAdOx1 vaccine, also known as AZD1222, or an established meningitis vaccine.
Participants are not told which group they are in so as not to influence their behavior. Small side effects expected from any of the vaccines, such as a sore arm or headache, therefore do not give away what they have been given.
“If transmission remains high, we may get enough data within a few months to see if the vaccine is working, but if transmission levels drop, it could take up to six months,” the university said in a statement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) listed eight candidate vaccines as tested on humans in a May 15 review.
This includes companies such as Moderna Inc, Inovio, partners Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, as well as CanSino and Sinovac in China.