The University of Oxford announced on Saturday that clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine would be performed in children as young as 6 years of age up to 17 years of age to test the effectiveness of the vaccine in young people. At least 300 child volunteers will be recruited by researchers to test the level of immune response the jabs induce in children.
It is anticipated that the University of Oxford and its collaborators will begin research at Oxford University and its partner sites in London, Southampton, and Bristol this weekend. The organization has so far announced that up to 240 children are expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and meningitis inoculation.
Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna have also begun to recruit children aged 12 and above for clinical trials to assess whether vaccines could provide COVID-19 disease protection for children for a lifetime.
The University of Oxford said in a statement on Saturday that it was now enrolling Thames Valley region volunteers for clinical trials on infants. “The purpose of this study is to test the new COVID-19 vaccine in children and young adults aged 6-17 years of age,” he said. “In addition, the university added, “This study will allow us to determine whether this new vaccine named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 will protect children from COVID-19. It will also provide us with useful information on the safety aspects of the vaccine and its capacity, in children and young people, to produce strong immune responses to the virus.”
We have a new COVID-19 study open for recruitment. If your child is aged 6-17 years and in good health they may be eligible to participate. Click on the link to find out more. https://t.co/4zbqIEI9LT #OxfordVaccineGroup #OxfordVaccine #Covid19 pic.twitter.com/4IFvVWWbj7
— Oxford Vaccine Group (@OxfordVacGroup) February 13, 2021
“The researchers will randomly assign participants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, further monitor the health and conduct blood tests, and collect other information on any symptoms that arise after the vaccine. The university said, “Participants from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic groups are especially welcome to participate in this study.”
The child must have ‘ no medical history’
According to the University of Oxford, any child would be eligible to participate in the vaccine trial whether he or she lives near one of the centres in Oxford, St George’s University Hospital, London, Southampton, or Bristol.
It added, that the child must have “ no significant medical history” and must be aged between 6 years and 17 years and 8 months. “we will recruit a total of 300 participants, of which up to 240 will be vaccinated with the candidate vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, and up to 60 will be vaccinated with a control vaccine (MenB, Bexsero),” Oxford said, adding that the participants will remain uninformed about their group.
“The data from this study may be used to support further larger-scale trials in children, the results of which may be used by AstraZeneca to support approvals of this vaccine for use in children in the future,” the release read.