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.
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.
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.
But its rapid approval in Europe and elsewhere has been clouded by doubts over its most effective dosage and the interval between doses.
Data at the weekend also showed it was less effective against a fast-spreading variant of the virus in South Africa, prompting the country to pause the rollout of the shot. The company has also been embroiled in a row with the European Union oversupply delays but Soriot said AstraZeneca was working to ramp up output as fast as possible.