The University of Oxford announced today that it will expand participation to more than 10,000 people in tests of vaccines designed to combat coronavirus and will include individuals over the age of 70 and children between the ages of 5 and 12.
This British university, through the Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, began the first phase of testing last April with a thousand healthy subjects under the age of 56, who are now joined in the second by more than 10,200 people including the new age groups.
“There was already a lot of interest from people over 55 to participate in the first phase of the study, but they could not be selected. Now we will be able to include older groups to continue with the evaluation of the vaccine,” she told the BBC network Sarah Gilbert, professor of Virology at the Jenner Institute.
In addition to those over the age of 70 and children between the ages of five and 12, experts will also study the effect that various treatments for COVID-19 have on the immune system in subjects between the ages of 56 and 69.
Specifically, the researchers will provide participants with doses of different experimental vaccines, such as “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19”, to then compare the differences between one treatment and another between the groups.
Experts at the Jenner Institute estimate that this study could take anywhere from two to six months, depending on how many individuals are exposed to the virus.
Monkey tests to date with “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19” indicate that animals inoculated with this vaccine have developed a degree of protection from COVID-19.
Scientists have noted that the presence of the virus was lower in the lungs and airways of primates who received the vaccine, but warn that these results may not be able to spread to humans.
They also foresee that, in case the treatment works, they could have up to a million doses ready for next September.