Human trial of COVID-19 vaccine begins in UK

Grant Boone
June 26, 2020

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine will be given to 10,260 adults and children in the next stage in the UK. Meanwhile, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc.'s experimental vaccine is in the advanced stage among all the vaccines across the World.

South Africa is taking part in Africa's first human trials aimed at producing a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, which continues to surge in the country.

The UK Medical Research Council, UK Research and Innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the National Institute for Health Research, among others have supported the research effort.

Given that the world's population is over 7.8 billion and there will not be those many doses in the initial stages by early 2021, the countries are likely to prioritize the process of vaccination, which will be finalized at a later stage.

The first case of COVID-19 in South Africa was reported in March. Hearteningly, we have both the skills and opportunity to harness South Africa's tech innovators right now to ensure that we are well-prepared for a vaccine - and have in place the best systems for its safe and efficient distribution.

Prince William also met with the director of the vaccine group, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford, Andrew Pollard, and a number of volunteers.

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The study by the University of Oxford has already enrolled more than 4,000 participants in the second phase of the study.

"This vaccine has shown very good results in trials with chimpanzees and has already moved on to the next phase of human trials".

While most candidates are in Phase 1 or simultaneous Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials, those from Moderna Therapeutics in the USA and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom are leading the race.

"We're going to be determining whether a vaccine protects against COVID-19. The vaccine is not going to cause someone to get infected with the virus", he said.

If this trial has been successful, they are planning to launch the Vaccine by the end of this year.

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