Oxford and AstraZeneca to test their coronavirus vaccine in children for the first time

Children in a Westminster school, London, Great Britain. REUTERS / Hannah McKay

The Oxford University threw a study to evaluate the safety and immune response of the COVID-19 vaccine, which he has developed with AstraZeneca, in children, the institution reported this Saturday.

The new mid-stage trial will determine whether the vaccine is effective in people 6 to 17 years of age, according to a statement from the university.

“While most children are relatively unaffected by the coronavirus and are unlikely to feel bad about the infection, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some may benefit from vaccination“Said the teacher Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial.

“These new trials will expand our understanding of the control of SARS-CoV2 in younger age groups,” he added.

A doctor administers a flu vaccine to a child at a military hospital after health authorities advised people to get a flu shot to avoid confusion with symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Milan, Italy, November 20, 2020. REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo

A doctor administers a flu vaccine to a child at a military hospital after health authorities advised people to get a flu shot to avoid confusion with symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Milan, Italy, November 20, 2020. REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo

The UK Royal College of Pediatrics and Children’s Health Maintains that there is evidence that the coronavirus can cause death and serious illness in children, but that this is rare.

“In children, the evidence is now clear that COVID-19 disease is associated with a considerably lower burden of morbidity and mortality compared to that seen in the elderly”, Affirmed the organism. “There is also some evidence that children they may be less likely to get the infection. The role of children in transmission, once they have acquired the infection, is unclear, although there is no clear evidence that they are more infectious than adults”They added.

For the rehearsal they will register around 300 volunteers and the first vaccinations are expected this month, Oxford noted.

The two-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has been hailed as a “vaccine for the world ”because it is cheaper and easier to distribute than other.

A person receives a dose of COVID-19 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at a vaccination center in Antwerp, Belgium, on February 12, 2021. REUTERS / Johanna Geron

A person receives a dose of COVID-19 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at a vaccination center in Antwerp, Belgium, on February 12, 2021. REUTERS / Johanna Geron

AstraZeneca aims to produce 3 billion doses this year and more than 200 million per month by April.

Last Wednesday, lhe World Health Organization (WHO) recommended emergency use of the Oxford University trial and AstraZeneca for people over 65 years of age, after several European countries decided not to do so due to lack of information on its effectiveness and safety in that age group.

Countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and Portugal They had announced that they would not apply the vaccine to people over 65, claiming that there is not enough data on the effectiveness of the trial.

However, the agency recommended the vaccine to “All persons over 18 years of age with no upper age limit”.

AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.  REUTERS / Yves Herman

AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. REUTERS / Yves Herman

“The results of the efficacy estimation for people aged 65 years and over had a wide confidence interval and therefore we believe that the response of this group cannot be different from the younger age groups“, said Alejandro Cravioto, Chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE).

In a report released this week, the WHO concluded that AstraZeneca’s vaccine is 63% effective in preventing symptoms of COVID-19 disease.

The efficacy is expected to be higher in preventing serious diseases and close to 100% in the prevention of deaths related to coronavirus.

(With information from Reuters)

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