Oxford University studies the effects of its vaccine on children

First modification: 13/02/2021 – 17:00

The dose developed by AstraZeneca and the British university will be inoculated in minors to study their immune response to the drug. It is the first time that a study has been carried out in this segment of the population, generally less affected by Covid-19. Meanwhile, new data is released from the WHO mission that traveled to Wuhan, China, to investigate the origin of the virus.

After a year of pandemic, the efforts of many governments and institutions are put in finding answers and solutions. That is why the University of Oxford started the first study to find out the response in children and young people to its vaccine.

On the other hand, after the mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) published its conclusions about its investigation around the origin of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China, more details about that mission, which had initially crashed, become known. with the rejection of the Asian country.

To date, more than 108 million people have been infected, 60 million have recovered and almost 2.4 million have lost their lives since the first coronavirus outbreak, according to Johns Hopkins University.

These are the main news about the pandemic this Saturday, February 13:

  • Oxford studies the response of its vaccine in children and young people

This is the first time that a study focuses specifically on minors: the University of Oxford began to do so with its drug developed together with the company AstraZeneca, to verify that the vaccine is safe for this segment of the population.

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The study will inoculate the drug to 300 volunteers between the ages of 6 and 17, according to a statement issued by the university. The first tests are expected to take place this month.

A doctor prepares a dose of the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine in Fraiture, Belgium, on January 12, 2021.

A doctor prepares a dose of the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine in Fraiture, Belgium, on January 12, 2021. © Yves Herman / Reuters

Research on Covid-19 and children shows, to date, that young people develop less severe versions of the disease and are less contagious than adults. However, there have been cases of serious illness and deaths, albeit rare.

“Although most children are relatively unaffected by the coronavirus, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people, as some may benefit from vaccination,” justified Andrew Pollard, lead researcher of this essay.

The Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine is under observation in many countries due to the doubts that its protection generates in people over 65 years of age. Several countries decided not to apply it to their elderly population, although the WHO asked that, given the emergency situation of the pandemic, they do.

  • China did not provide some data requested by the WHO mission in Wuhan

Dominic Dwyer, one of the experts who participated in the mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Wuhan, the origin of Covid-19 in China, assured the Reuters agency that the government of the Asian country did not provide some of the data the researchers were looking for.

Dwyer, an Australian infectious disease expert, reported that the WHO mission had requested the raw data of 174 patients who were infected early in the pandemic. The international team wanted to investigate that information because half of that group of patients had never been in contact with the Huanan market, the place designated as the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Investigator for the WHO mission in Wuhan, Dominic Dwyer, speaks to journalists from a balcony of his hotel in Wuhan, China, on January 29, 2021.
Investigator for the WHO mission in Wuhan, Dominic Dwyer, speaks to reporters from a balcony of his hotel in Wuhan, China, on January 29, 2021.
Investigator for the WHO mission in Wuhan, Dominic Dwyer, speaks to journalists from a balcony of his hotel in Wuhan, China, on January 29, 2021. © Thomas Peter / Reuters

Instead of providing these raw data, which would contain all the information up to the interviews they did with the patients, the symptoms reported and the analysis of the doctors who received the sick, the Chinese government provided basic information in summary form .

But beyond this case, Dwyer acknowledged that they had access to much more information than they had expected, due to strong initial reluctance on the part of China to let the WHO mission in. “The WHO felt that they had received much more data than they received in the past year, so that in itself is already a breakthrough,” added the scientist.

  • Johnson “optimistic” about the possibility of easing restrictions in the UK

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured that there will be a relaxation of quarantine and restrictions in the country when 15 million people from priority vaccination groups have received the drug.

“I’m optimistic, I’m not going to hide it, I’m optimistic, but we must be cautious,” Johnson said at a news conference.

The prime minister assured that the vaccination campaign is close to the goal of having inoculated at least one dose to everyone over 70 years of age and to other priority groups such as clinically vulnerable people and health workers.

Hospitalizations have begun to decline, although infections and fatalities remain high. Last Friday, more than 15,000 new infections were registered.

The UK was the first country in Europe to start the vaccination campaign, in December 2020. To date, 14 million people have received the first dose.

With EFE and Reuters

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