Oxford University starts trial of COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 17

fr24news– In a key step towards ending the coronavirus pandemic, children as young as 6 years old will be tested with the Covid-19 vaccine. The University of Oxford has launched a new study to assess the safety of its vaccine with AstraZeneca in children for the first time.
In a new statement, the university says the trial will assess the immune response in children aged 6 to 17, an affected age group difficult by school closures due to the pandemic. About 300 volunteers have signed up and are expected to receive their first vaccinations this month.

In the randomized, single-blind study, up to 240 participants will receive the COVID vaccine, while the control group will receive a vaccine against meningitis, which is safe for children and produces a similar reaction.

“While most children are relatively unaffected by the coronavirus and are unlikely to suffer from infection, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people because some children can benefit from the vaccination, ”said Andrew Pollard, the chief trial investigator. “These new trials will expand our understanding of SARS-CoV2 control to younger age groups. ”

A number of vaccines, including those from Oxford / AstraZeneca and Pfizer and Moderna widely used around the world, have been shown to be very effective in preventing symptomatic infections. New data from Oxford earlier this month also offered the first evidence that its vaccine can not only prevent people from getting sick with COVID-19, but could also help significantly reduce its spread in the community.

The United Kingdom approved the emergency use the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine at the end of December. The vaccine’s approval was widely celebrated because it is cheaper to produce and easier to transport and store than other approved vaccines.

Researchers hope extending the vaccine to children will help alleviate some of the pandemic’s negative impacts on young people around the world.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound negative impact on the education, social development and emotional well-being of children and adolescents, beyond rare and serious illnesses and diseases,” said Rinn Song of the Oxford Vaccine Group. “It is therefore important to collect data on the safety and immune response to our coronavirus vaccine in these age groups, so that they can potentially benefit from inclusion in vaccination programs in the near future. ”

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