Call for 10,000 vaccine vols
Oxford University wants people willing to give it a shot.
The university has put out a call for more than 10,000 volunteers willing to be immunized with its experimental coronavirus vaccine to determine whether it could be a viable solution for the sweeping global pandemic.
Scientists at the venerable institution began vaccinating the first round of 1,000 healthy volunteers in April as part the initial phase of clinical trials. On Friday, Oxford revealed researchers are prepared to move into more advanced studies, which requires 10,260 adult and children participants from around the United Kingdom.
The trial vaccine, called AZD1222, was initially tested on six macaque monkeys in the United States before delivering promising results on the first two humans in Oxford back on April 23.
“The clinical studies are progressing very well,” Prof. Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said in a news release.
“We are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune response in older adults, and to test whether it can provide protection to the wider population.”
Scientists hope to begin their second wave of test immunizations on thousands of new people, including the elderly, in May and June, according to the release.
The potential treatment was developed from a weakened strain of the common cold that causes infections in chimpanzees but has been genetically altered so it is impossible to replicate in humans. Researchers said the harmless disease is then used to spread a “Spike protein,” which prevents COVID-19 from entering human cells.