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Coronavirus Vaccine: Oxford University Begins Enrolling Over 500 Volunteers for Coronavirus Vaccine Trial | World News


LONDON: Scientists at the University of Oxford have opened their COVID-19 vaccines to recruit clinical trials as part of a “rapid vaccine response” to the coronavirus pandemic.

The trial, a collaboration between the university’s Jenner Institute and the clinical teams of the Oxford Vaccine Group, will recruit up to 510 volunteers, who will receive either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a control injection for comparison.

The researchers, working in an “unprecedented” vaccine development effort to prevent COVID-19, said they began testing healthy volunteers (ages 18-55) starting Friday for their next trial in the Thames Valley region. In England.

“The Oxford team had an exceptional experience of a rapid response to the vaccine, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. This is an even greater challenge,” said Professor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford.

“Vaccines are being designed from scratch and are progressing at an unprecedented rate. The next trial will be critical to assess the feasibility of COVID-19 vaccination and could lead to an early deployment, “he said.

The vaccine based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 peak protein is already in production but will not be ready for a few weeks.

Meanwhile, the team will recruit healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, who, if they pass the exam, will be the first humans to test the new vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The trial will provide valuable information on the safety aspects of the vaccine, as well as its ability to generate an immune response against the virus.

Interested individuals can volunteer to participate on the COVID-19 vaccine website.

While the team will begin testing people now to see if they are eligible to participate in the study, participants will not receive the vaccine for a few weeks. Detailed preclinical work is being done and the vaccine is being manufactured to clinical grade standard at the University of Oxford Center for Clinical Biomanufacturing.

The trial has been approved by UK ethical regulators and reviewers. The researchers are working as quickly as possible to prepare the vaccine for use in the trial, which includes more preclinical research and the production of a larger number of doses of the vaccine.

Professor Andrew Pollard, the study’s chief investigator, said: “Starting clinical trials is the first step in efforts to discover whether the new vaccine being developed at Oxford University works and could safely play a central role in control of the pandemic coronavirus that is sweeping the globe. ”

Scientists around the world are working hard to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but there is much to be done.

The Oxford team led by Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor Andrew Pollard, Professor Teresa Lambe, Dr. Sandy Douglas and Professor Adrian Hill began work on the design of a vaccine on January 10.

Professor Gilbert and his team have previously developed a vaccine for another human coronavirus disease, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and this has been promising in early clinical trials.

The new vaccine is an adenovirus vaccine vector (ChAdOx1) and was developed at the Jenner Institute in Oxford. It was chosen as the most suitable vaccine technology for a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine, as it can generate a strong one-dose immune response and is not a replicating virus, so it cannot cause a continuous infection in the vaccinated individual

This also makes it safer to give to children, the elderly, and anyone with a pre-existing condition like diabetes. Adenoviral vectors are a well-studied type of vaccine, which has been used safely in thousands of subjects, from one week to age 90, in vaccines targeting more than 10 different diseases.

Professor Gilbert, principal investigator of the vaccine development program, said: “Since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, my research team has been working on new approaches to vaccine development to protect the world’s population against an outbreak of infectious diseases or a pandemic. We are now working with a much larger team to make these plans a reality. ”

At the same time as the first clinical trial is taking place, the production of the vaccine is expanding and ready for larger trials and potentially for future deployment.

By starting the expansion of vaccine manufacturing right away, the team can ensure that enough doses of vaccine are available as soon as possible, especially for National Health Service (NHS) workers, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions , if trials show that the vaccine is safe and effective.

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