British COVID-19 study aims to vaccinate more than 10000

Andrew Cummings
May 23, 2020

Earlier this week, drugmaker AstraZeneca said it had secured its first agreements for 400 million doses of the Oxford-developed vaccine, bolstered by a $1 billion investment from a US government agency, for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the fall. If successful, it could be on the market as early as September, according to British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca, which partnered with the university in April to manufacture and distribute the vaccine.

The firm plans to deliver at least 400 million from September this year, with 100 million provided in Britain. Some health experts have admitted to being surprised by the survey numbers of people who would be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine.

In a statement, Fauci told CNBC, "I don't want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go". "You're going to have a lot of big announcements over the next week or two" on therapeutics.

Some experts have said the White House's emphasis on speed - its vaccine effort is called "Operation Warp Speed" - could leave people anxious that safety was being sacrificed for swiftness.

"We would like to thank the U.S. and United Kingdom governments for their substantial support to accelerate the development and production of the vaccine", AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.

The Oxford vaccine is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. "If transmission remains high, we may get enough data in a couple of months to see if the vaccine works, but if transmission levels drop, this could take up to 6 months".

A Phase I/II clinical trial of AZD1222 began last month to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy in over 1,000 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 across several trial centres in southern England. The trials ale expected to be completed by early June. Only half of black Americans, who represent a disproportionate percentage of coronavirus deaths, said they were somewhat or very interested in a vaccine, perhaps reflecting memories of an infamous US government study that left black men deliberately untreated for syphilis. The team will recruit 500 frontline staff, screening and vaccinating them, either with the COVID-19 candidate or with a meningitis vaccine used as a control in this randomised blind study.

Other drugmakers including Pfizer Inc, J&J and Sanofi are in various stages of vaccine development.

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