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Scientists will also study the effect of COVID-19 treatments in people aged between 56 and 69.
Oxford University’s Jenner Institute announced that over 10,200 people will take part in a COVID-19 vaccine test. The group of volunteers will include individuals over the age of 70 and children between the ages of 5 and 12.
This British university started the first testing phase in April with a thousand healthy subjects under the age of 56. Now, for the second phase, thousands of people belonging to vulnerable age groups are incorporated.
"There was already a lot of interest from over-55-year-old people to participate in the first phase, but they could not be selected. Now we will include older groups to continue with the evaluation of the vaccine," Vaccinology professor Sarah Gilbert explained.
Oxford scientists will also study the effect of various treatments for COVID-19 on the immune system in people aged between 56 and 69 years.
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They will provide participants with doses of different experimental vaccines, one of which is ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, an investigational vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.
Jenner Institute scientists estimate that this study could take anywhere from two to six months, depending on how many individuals are exposed to the virus.
So far, monkeys inoculated with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 have developed certain protection against COVID-19. Scientists noted that the virus levels were lower in the lungs and airways of the vaccinated primates. Those results might not be transferable to humans, though.
In case the treatment works, the Oxford researchers could have up to a million doses ready by next September.