AstraZeneca vaccine to be tested on minors

Andrew Cummings
February 14, 2021

The Lead Investigator on the trial, Andrew Pollard, at an interview with Bloomberg said, "The phase II study will take place at three cities across the U.K. - London, Southampton and Bristol - and assess the safety and immune responses in children".

The first jabs are expected this month, the university said in a statement.

Grace Li, a paediatric clinical research fellow for the Oxford Vaccine Group, said the trial will play an important role in protecting children from the virus.


Up to 240 subjects will receive the vaccine, while the rest will receive a control drug.

The 2-dose Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been hailed as a vaccine for the world because it is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals.

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination centre inside the Blackburn Cathedral, in Blackburn, Britain, January 19, 2021.


Pfizer Inc., which has an approved vaccine for people aged 16 and over, completed enrollment for its trial of 12-to-15-year-olds last month with more than 2,000 children tested.

"For most children, for themselves, COVID is really not a big problem...", Pollard told The Associated Press.

University researchers plan to start testing AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine on children as young as six in Britain on Saturday.


COVID-19 can also cause death or serious illness in children, but the British Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health says this is rare. "It is therefore important to collect data on the safety and the immune response to our coronavirus vaccine in these age groups, so that they could potentially benefit from inclusion in vaccination programs in the near future", Rinn Song, a paediatrician and clinician-scientist for the Oxford Vaccine Group, said.

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