The University of Oxford announced Saturday it will launch a new trial to test the COVID-19 vaccine it has developed in partnership with AstraZeneca on children between the ages of six and 17.
The two-dose Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is already in use in the United Kingdom, though only people 18 and over can receive the shots as of now. Trial inoculations are expected to begin later this month, with around 300 volunteers enrolling to help determine efficacy and safety. This marks the first attempt by a coronavirus vaccine developer to test its candidate in young people, NBC News notes.
Prof. Andrew Pollard, the chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, acknowledged children are "relatively unaffected" by the novel coronavirus, but it's still "important to establish the safety and immune response" because "some children may benefit from the vaccine."