Experimental coronavirus vaccine reaches advanced trial stages in United Kingdom

Children, adults over 70 to now be included in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

Children, adults over 70 to now be included in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

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 USA government agency, for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in the fall.

The United States has secured nearly a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for AstraZeneca's experimental Covid-19 vaccine by pledging up to US$1.2 billion (RM5.22 billion), as world powers scramble for medicines to get their economies back to work.

Most of the vaccines in the pipeline aim to train the immune system to recognize the spiky protein that studs the new coronavirus' outer surface, so it's primed to attack if the real infection comes along.

"It's not surprising a significant percentage of Americans are not going to take the vaccine because of the bad messaging we've had, the absence of a communication plan around the vaccine and this very aggressive anti-vaccine movement", said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is developing a vaccine.

Since the new virus emerged in China late a year ago, COVID-19 has spread around the world, infecting more than 5 million people and killing more than 300,000.

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.

Sweden becomes country with highest coronavirus death rate per capita
The strategy was criticized by Swedish researchers early on, who said that attempting to create herd immunity had low support. While others locked down to buy time, critics like Olsen say Sweden has done "too little, too late".

AstraZeneca said it was in talks with governments and partners around the world - such as the Serum Institute of India - to increase access and production and is speaking to various organisations on fair allocation and distribution.

Operation Warp Speed zeroes in on an October release for an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the University of Oxford; Jonathan Serrie reports. The trials ale expected to be completed by early June.

There are now no approved treatments or vaccines for Covid-19. Experts are predicting a safe, effective means of preventing the disease could take 12 to 18 months to develop.

He said a second group of 10,000 frontline workers will also participate in the study. "Adult participants in both the Phase II and Phase III groups will be randomized to receive one or two doses of either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a licensed vaccine (MenACWY) that will be used as a "control" for comparison".

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

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