Children and older adults to join Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine trial
More than 10,200 people - including over 70s and five to 12-year-olds - will be enrolled in the phase two of the vaccine trial to see the effects on their immune system.
Children and older adults will be included in the second phase of vaccine trial conducted by University of Oxford researchers to protect against the novel coronavirus.
The first phase of the University of Oxford trial began in April, involving 1,000 healthy adults aged 55 and under. Now more than 10,200 people - including over 70s and five to 12-year-olds - will be enrolled in the study, to see the effects on their immune system.
Trials of the same vaccine on monkeys appear to have given them some protection against the disease. The animals had less of the virus in their lungs and airways, but it is not certain this finding will translate to people.
Adults in this trial will receive one or two doses of either the new vaccine -- ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 -- or another licensed vaccine.
Researchers will then compare the number of infections in both groups. This could take between two and to six months, depending on how many people are exposed to the virus.
The age range of participants has been expanded to include those aged:
-- Over 70
WHAT IS THE VACCINE BEING TESTED?
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is made from a virus (ChAdOx1), which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees, that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans, says University of Oxford.
Genetic material has been added to the ChAdOx1 construct, that is used to make proteins from the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) called Spike glycoprotein. This protein is usually found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 and plays an essential role in the infection pathway of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses its spike protein to bind to ACE2 receptors on human cells to gain entry to the cells and cause an infection.
Researchers say that by vaccinating with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, they hope to make the body recognise and develop an immune response to the Spike protein that will help stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering human cells and therefore prevent infection.
Professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “The clinical studies are progressing very well and we are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults, and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population.
“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.”
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, said: "We have had a lot of interest already from people over the age of 55 years who were not eligible to take part in the phase-one study.”
"And we will now be able to include older age groups to continue the vaccine assessment. We will also be including more study sites, in different parts of the country," she added.