University of Oxford researchers, working in an unprecedented vaccine development effort to prevent COVID-19, started screening healthy volunteers (aged 18-55) on March 27, 2020 for their upcoming ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine trial in the Thames Valley Region. The vaccine, based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, is already in production. but won’t be ready for some weeks still. The team will enroll healthy volunteers aged between 18 – 55, who, if they pass screening, will be the first humans to test the new vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The trial will provide valuable information on the safety aspects of the vaccine, as well as its ability to generate an immune response against the virus. [UPDATE: The trial has received a high volume of volunteer applications and is not accepting any more at this moment. Please do keep checking the trial website, https://covid19vaccinetrial.co.uk, for future COVID-19 vaccine studies.] The trial, a collaboration between the University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group clinical teams, will recruit up to 510 volunteers, who will receive either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a control injection for comparison. While the team will start screening people now to see if they are eligible to take part in the study, participants will not receive the vaccine for some weeks. Detailed preclinical work is being done and the vaccine is being manufactured to clinical-grade standard at the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility at Oxford University. The trial has been approved by UK regulators and ethical reviewers. Researchers are working as quickly as possible to get the vaccine ready to be used in the trial, which includes further preclinical investigations and production of a larger number of doses of the vaccine.
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