Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Oxford vaccine enters final phase of COVID-19 trials. Here's what happens now.

"It is my duty as a citizen," one volunteer says of the rigorous experience as the phase three trial kicks off in Brazil.

Gravediggers bury someone who died from th​e coronavirus at Vila Formosa​ Cemetery in São Paulo, Brazil, on Jul​y 7, 2020. Photograph by Victor Moriyama, Th​e New York Times via Redux

By Kevin Damasio, National Geographic

Rio de Janeiro, BrazilAndréa Barbosa was thrilled to be jabbed in the arm. The 46-year-old ophthalmologist is one of the 5,000 volunteers in the clinical trial in Brazil of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1. The vaccine is being developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom in collaboration with the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

In May, Soumya Swaminathan, the head scientist of the World Health Organization, called ChAdOx1 the most advanced COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Phases one and two of the clinical trial took place simultaneously in April in southern England, when safety and immune responses were checked in more than a thousand healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55. The vaccine is now in the third and final development phase: testing volunteers in Brazil at the Federal University of São Paulo’s Reference Center for Special Immunobiologicals, as well as at two locations run by the D'Or Institute for Research and Education.  Read more >>