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World News

Oxford University to test COVID-19 vaccine response among children for first time

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination centre inside the Blackburn Cathedral, in Blackburn, Britain, January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Molly Darlington/File Photo

(Reuters) - 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.

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.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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