Oxford University has announced plans to test its co-developed COVID-19 vaccine on children to determine the safety and immune response of the shot in young people, Deutsche Welle News reports via the Associated Press.
While the vaccine remains effective against the original virus and at least one variant, first discovered in Kent, England, preliminary findings in a small-scale trial prompted South Africa to limit its use while it ascertains its efficacy against the variant that emerged there.
The first vaccinations are expected to take place this month, with as many as 240 children receiving the coronavirus vaccine and the remainder a meningitis shot, which should produce similar side effects.
Going further, Pollard said, "We planned to conduct child trials from the beginning to make sure that we had the greatest opportunity for access across all ages to the vaccine". The two-dose vaccine is cheaper and easier to distribute than some rivals. In the US, Pfizer/BioNTech's and Moderna's vaccines are being tested in children as young as 12.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) provides guidance on all aspects of COVID-19 vaccination including prioritization of population groups, procurement and inventory management, vaccine selection, vaccine delivery and tracking mechanism etc.
This trial will assess if children and young adults aged 6-17 years develop a good immune response with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.