Human trial of the first recently developed Corona Virus vaccine begins in Oxford.
Two volunteers were injected with the vaccine while a total number of 800 persons were recruited for the experiment.
400 of the volunteers will be injected with the corona virus vaccine while the other 400 will be injected with control vaccine that protects against meningitis.
the procedure of the Human trial requires that either of the both side volunteers will have no knowledge of the vaccine they are getting though the Doctors will know.
One of the volunteer who got injected, Elisa Granato in her conversation with BBC correspondents said she is a scientist and she wanted to support the scientific process whichever way she can.
The vaccine was developed within the space of three months and the pre – clinical research was ably led by Professor of vaccinology at Jenner Institute, Sarah Gilbert and a team from Oxford University.
She expressed that she has a high degree of confidence on the vaccine, in her words she said, of course we have to text the vaccine and derive our data from Humans,she said it is necessary to see that the vaccine works and can prevent people from getting infected prior to the wider vaccination of the populace.
She rated her confidence on the vaccine at 80% even though she declined not to fix a figure on it, she rephrased by saying that she is very optimistic on its chances.
SO HOW DOES THE VACCINE WORKS?
She said the vaccine was developed from a treated form of common cold virus popularly known as (Adenovirus) extracted from Chimpanzees that has been biologically Modified and cannot grow in Humans.
The Oxford University team has also used the same method to develop a vaccine against Mers, Mers which is another type of corona virus and it had an encouraging results during its clinical trials.
HOW WILL THEY KNOW IT WORKS?
Prof. Sarah further said that the only way for the developers to know if the vaccine works is by comparing the number of people who gets infected with the virus in subsequent months from both side of the trials and that could possibly pose a problem if cases drop in UK, because there might not be enough data.
Director of the Oxford Vaccine team, Prof. Pollard Andrew said that the world is chasing the end of this current pandemic wave, but if the vaccine doesn’t work, we won’t be able to tell if the vaccine would work in few months to come he said and he expressed fear that there might be more cases in the future because the virus have not been completely eradicated.
The Developers of this vaccine is focusing on recruiting health care workers as its volunteers in the trials because they have the probability of getting exposed to the virus than others,he confirmed that an expanded number of trials of about 5,000 volunteers will commence in coming months and will have no age limit.
researchers are considering injecting older people with two dose of the vaccine due to the fact that most of them tend to have weaker immune response to the vaccine.
The OXFORD Team is also considering a clinical trial in Africa, specifically in Kenya where there has been an upsurge of the virus.
IF THE NUMBERS COULD BE A PROBLEM, WHY NOT DELIBERATELY INFECT VOLUNTEERS WITH THE VIRUS?
That would be a fast and reliable way to find out if the vaccine works but it will be ethically questionable because there are no certified vaccine for corona virus, he said.
he said such will be possible in the future “If we reach the point where we had some treatments for the disease and we could guarantee the safety of volunteers, that would be a very good way of testing a vaccine.”
IS IT SAFE?
The trial volunteers will be carefully monitored in the coming months. They have been told that some may get a sore arm, headaches or fevers in the first couple of days after vaccination.
They are also told there is a theoretical risk that the virus could induce a serious reaction to coronavirus, which arose in some early Sars animal vaccine studies.
The Oxford team said its records shows that the possibility of the vaccine producing a pathogenic disease is minimal and they expressed hope to produce up to 1 million doses before September and to scale up production after that,should the vaccine work.
SO WHO GETS IT FIRST?
Prof Gilbert says that has not been decided yet: “It’s not really our role to dictate what will happen, we just have to try to get a vaccine that works and have enough of it and then it will be for others to decide.”
Prof Pollard added: “We’ve got to ensure we have enough doses to provide for those in greatest need, not just in the UK but also in developing countries.”
Another team of researchers at imperial College London hopes to commence its Human clinical trial by June.
The Oxford and Imperial teams have received more than £40m of government funding.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has commended both teams and said the UK will “throw everything we’ve got” at developing a corona virus vaccine.
UK chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty has said neither a vaccine, nor a drug to treat Covid-19, is likely to be available within the next year.
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