The University of Oxford has launched a study to assess the safety and immune response of the COVID-19 vaccine it has developed with AstraZeneca Plc in children for the first time, it said on Saturday.
The new mid-stage trial will determine whether the vaccine is effective on people between the ages of 6 and 17, according to an emailed statement from the university.
Around 300 volunteers will be enrolled and first inoculations are expected this month, Oxford said.
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The two-dose Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been hailed as a ‘vaccine for the world’ because it is cheaper and easier to distribute than some rivals.
AstraZeneca has a target to produce 3 billion doses this year and aims to produce over 200 million doses per month by April.
Canada has yet to approve AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
As of Feb. 12, people under the age of 19 accounted for 16.5 per cent of cases (133,794) throughout the country, according to Health Canada.