Oxford University to test Covid-19 vaccine safety in kids

A nurse prepares a dose of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Credit Olivier Chassignole Pool via AP

The new midstage trial, which will assess whether the vaccine is effective on people aged 6 to 17, seeks 300 volunteers.

University researchers plan to start testing AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine on children as young as six in Britain on Saturday.

The AstraZeneca jab is one of three to have been approved for use in adults in both Ireland and the United Kingdom, along with those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The trial of Covid-19 vaccines on Bottom of Form children began at the end of a year ago after the safety and efficacy concerns of the frontrunner vaccines had been established in adults.

The University of Oxford has launched a study to assess the safety and immune response of the COVID-19 vaccine it has developed with AstraZeneca in children for the first time.

Pollard added, "These new trials will extend our understanding of the control of SARS-CoV2 to younger age groups".

Grace Li, a paediatric clinical research fellow for the Oxford Vaccine Group, said the trial will play an important role in protecting children from the virus.

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.

Previous trials of the vaccine have shown that it is safe, but this phase 2 trial - funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and AstraZeneca - will show if kids have a good immune response to the shot. Till 9th February 2021, a total of 65.28 lakh beneficiaries have received 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine, he said in a written reply.

The rollout of COVID-19 inoculations to over 85-year-olds will commence from Monday.

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