Coronavirus vaccine: Thailand begins COVID-19 vaccine trials on monkeys

Anthony Fauci

Last month, scientists at Oxford University began immunizing more than 1,000 volunteers with their vaccine candidate in a preliminary trial created to test the shot's safety. "We are very grateful to the huge support of the trial volunteers in helping test whether this new vaccine could protect humans against the pandemic coronavirus".

A risk among the test subjects is something called "disease enhancement" which causes a vaccine to make the disease worse - something that's happened in animal trials for vaccines for relatives of COVID-19.

"For these groups, researchers will be assessing the immune response to the vaccine in people of different ages, to find out if there is variation in how well the immune system responds in older people or children", the researchers said. The team will recruit 500 frontline staff, screening and vaccinating them, either with the COVID-19 candidate or with a meningitis vaccine used as a control in this randomised blind study. Only half of black Americans, who represent a disproportionate percentage of coronavirus deaths, said they were somewhat or very interested in a vaccine, perhaps reflecting memories of an infamous USA government study that left black men deliberately untreated for syphilis.

He said that the government had no other choice during the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak to shut down. "How quickly we reach the numbers required will depend on the levels of virus transmission in the community".

"We are scaling up on a conservative basis of about 4 to 5 million doses a month to begin with", Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla told Reuters, adding the company was in discussions with AstraZeneca.

The company said that it is capable of producing over one billion doses of the AZD1222 vaccine for this year and the next.

But there is a need for a varying number of vaccines to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr. Barouch is working on an Ad26 vaccine, which is far less likely have people with high levels of antibodies to that strain.

That will involve recruiting "very healthy individuals" for the trials, he said.

The firm plans to deliver at least 400 million from September this year, with 100 million provided in Britain.

Fox News' Christopher Carbone contributed to this article.

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