Human trials of British coronavirus vaccine to widen to 10,000

Partner institutions across Britain had started recruiting up to 10,260 adults and children.
Partner institutions across Britain had started recruiting up to 10,260 adults and children.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Oxford University and AstraZeneca plan to recruit around 10,000 adults and children in Britain for trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine which on Thursday received US backing worth up to US$1.2 billion (S$1.71 billion).

The university said on Friday (May 22) that partner institutions across Britain had started recruiting up to 10,260 adults and children to see how well the human immune system responds to the vaccine and how safe it is.

An initial trial that started on April 23 has already seen more than 1,000 volunteers aged 18-55 receive the injection and Oxford said phases II and III will add people aged 56 and older as well as children of five to 12 years.

"The speed at which this new vaccine has advanced into late-stage clinical trials is testament to Oxford's groundbreaking scientific research," AstraZeneca executive Mene Pangalos said.

AstraZeneca has already signed up Britain and the United States as partners to mass produce the vaccine in anticipation of confirmation that it works and is safe to use.