The Oxford-Astrazeneca Jab To Be Tested On Children Over 6 In World-First Trial.
A vaccine trial is to be launched to find out how effective Oxford jab is for children aged over 6 years. Researchers will use 300 volunteers to assess whether the jab produces a strong immune response in children aged between six and 17 after parents of vulnerable kids called for clarity.
The Oxford vaccine is one of three to have been approved for use in adults in the UK, along with those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. A chief scientist has said that although most children do not become seriously ill with Covid, many will benefit from the jab if it is proved to be safe.
Andrew Pollard, professor of paediatric infection and immunity, and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial said: ‘While most children are relatively unaffected by coronavirus and are unlikely to become unwell with the infection, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some children may benefit from vaccination. These new trials will extend our understanding of the control of SARS-CoV2 to younger age groups.’
The first vaccinations under the trial will take place this month, with up to 240 children receiving the vaccine and the others receiving a control meningitis jab.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told ITV News: ‘It is perfectly possible that we will have some licensed children’s vaccines for Covid-19 by the end of the year.’
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has said there is evidence Covid-19 can cause death and severe illness in children, but that this is rare. It said: ‘In children, the evidence is now clear that Covid-19 is associated with a considerably lower burden of morbidity and mortality compared to that seen in the elderly. There is also some evidence that children may be less likely to acquire the infection. The role of children in transmission, once they have acquired the infection, is unclear, although there is no clear evidence that they are any more infectious than adults.’
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