Oxford University Vaccine to be tested in Brazil, South Africa, UK and US
Oxford University Vaccine to be tested in Brazil, South Africa, UK and US. The British vaccinologist who is Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford and co-founder of Vaccitech, Prof Sarah Gilbert said the following whn asked about the next step of the Oxford university vaccine trial.
The results so far are promising, but their main purpose is to ensure the vaccine is safe enough to give to people. The study cannot show whether the vaccine can either prevent people from becoming ill or even lessen their symptoms of Covid-19.
She revealed that more than 10,000 people will take part in the next stage of the trials in the UK. However, the trial has also been expanded to other countries because levels of coronavirus are low in the UK, making it hard to know if the vaccine is effective.
She said Physical distancing had reduced the numbers of people getting infected in the UK, which was good news, she said, but made it harder to trial a vaccine so they were now also testing 5,000 people in Brazil and 2,000 in South Africa, where the case numbers are high. Astra Zeneca, the company that has partnered with Oxford, is to start a trial with 30,000 people in the US.
There are also calls to perform “challenge trials” in which vaccinated people are deliberately infected with coronavirus. However, there are ethical concerns due to a lack of treatments.
Gilbert told the science and technology committee, “I hope we can improve on those timelines and come to your rescue,” but would not be drawn on how much sooner the vaccine might be ready.