An announcement sparked controversy around the world when, through an official statement, on Saturday, Feb. 13, the University of Oxford informed that children between 6 and 17 years old will be part of a new study of the ChAdOx1 vaccine against the CCP Virus, developed jointly by the university and the laboratory AstraZeneca.
The efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in children will be tested in a new clinical trial starting this month.
Researchers will use 300 volunteers to assess whether the vaccine produces a strong immune response in children aged 6 to 17 years, the The Guardian reported.
“This trial will assess if children and young adults aged 6–17 years make a good immune response with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine,” the university said in a statement.
As reported, the questioned, randomized, Phase 2 trial will enroll 300 volunteers, of whom up to 240 will receive the virus vaccine, while the remaining 60 will be injected with a meningitis control vaccine, with similar expected adverse effects.
The statistics show very clearly that children and adolescents maintain a very low rate of infection and transmissibility of the CCP Virus, deaths in that age range are virtually nil and are generally limited to cases with pre-existing disease.
Therefore, it is difficult to understand the urgency of testing children with a vaccine that not only does not have adequate testing times in adults, but is presenting a considerable number of adverse effects.
“It is perfectly possible that we will have some childhood vaccines licensed to COVID by the end of the year. It’s perfectly possible, but it’s not assured,” professor Jonathan Van-Tam told ITV News.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was approved for use by the European Medicines Agency in January. The World Health Organization (WHO) said it could grant emergency authorization for the vaccine in mid-February.
AstraZeneca said it has already started shipping millions of doses to European sites and plans to deliver a total of 17 million over the next few weeks.
The news regarding the experiment on children was not well received by several sectors that view with fear the adverse effects that the vaccine produced in adults. A recent report by The Sun revealed that after the vaccination campaign in the United Kingdom, 143 deaths linked to the vaccines have been recorded.
Another report published on Jan. 16 by Bloomberg News, reported the death of at least 23 elderly Norwegians after receiving a dose of the vaccine against the CCP Virus, bringing the total number of victims to 29.