Coronavirus vaccine by Oxford-AstraZeneca is ‘very close to the end’, claims Donald Trump

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New Delhi | September 1, 2020 9:17 AM

Coronavirus vaccine update: Oxford-AstraZeneca had said that the vaccine's Phase 3 trials will involve 30,000 adult volunteers and identified as many as 80 sites in the US.

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Coronavirus vaccine update: Oxford-AstraZeneca’s experimental Coronavirus vaccine has entered phase 3 of human trials in the US and is “very close to the end”, announced American President Donald Trump. Oxford-AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) has already been undergoing the late-stage clinical trials in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil.

President Trump has announced, “I am pleased to announce that AstraZeneca’s vaccine has reached Phase 3 clinical trials and has joined various vaccines that are very close to the end. In the United States, we are doing things that people thought were not possible.”

Oxford-AstraZeneca had said that the vaccine’s Phase 3 trials will involve 30,000 adult volunteers and identified as many as 80 sites in the US. The volunteers will be selected from diverse racial, ethnic, and geographic groups. The US government had initiated Operation Warp Speed in the country in order to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021.

After an initial screening, participants will receive two injections of either the investigational vaccine or a saline placebo approximately four weeks apart. One person will receive a placebo injection for every two people who receive AZD1222, which will result in approximately 20,000 people receiving the investigational vaccine and 10,000 people receiving a placebo, the US National Institutes of Health stated.

The trial primarily is designed to determine if AZD1222 can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 after two doses. The trial also will evaluate if the vaccine candidate can prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection regardless of symptoms and if it can prevent severe COVID-19. It also will assess if the experimental vaccine can reduce the incidence of emergency department visits due to COVID-19, the US National Institutes of Health said.

Last month Trump had said that it was possible the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine before the November 3 election, a more optimistic forecast on timing than anything suggested by his own White House health experts. Trump said he was optimistic a vaccine would be available around that date. Asked if it would help him in the election, he said, “It wouldn’t hurt. But I’m doing it, not for the election; I want to save a lot of lives,” as per a Reuters report. Top US government infectious diseases official Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed that there might be an indication that at least one vaccine works and is safe by year-end, the Reuters report said.

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