The first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine has begun in Oxford with 1,100 people recruited for the study.
Two volunteers were injected on Thursday, April 23rd and they will be monitored for 48 hours, before six more people enter the trial on Saturday and a larger number will join at the beginning of next week.
Half will receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and half a control vaccine which protects against meningitis but not coronavirus (volunteers will not know which vaccine they are getting).
The Oxford University project, a collaboration between the university’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) ―a vaccine research group within the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford―, opened recruitment for the clinical trial ―for healthy adults between 18 and 55― at the end of March, having begun research on a vaccine against the coronavirus-borne disease COVID-19 in February.
The vaccine was developed in under three months by a team at Oxford University and it is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees that has been modified so it cannot grow in humans. The Oxford team has already developed a vaccine against MERS, another type of coronavirus, using the same approach ―and that had promising results in clinical trials―.
Moreover, a larger trial, of about 5,000 volunteers, will start in the coming months and will have no age limit.
The Oxford University vaccine is one of dozens worldwide working on a vaccine and is the most advanced in Britain.
Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.