Newsdeck

COVID-19

Oxford coronavirus vaccine data could go to regulators this year

Oxford coronavirus vaccine data could go to regulators this year
(FILE) - One of the first South African vaccine trialists gets injected during the clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the Covid-19 Corona virus at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa, 24 June 2020 (reissued 20 July 2020). Early phases of testing for a coronavirus vaccine suggest a positive result in immune reaction, scientists at Oxford University said 20 July 2020. EPA-EFE/SIPHIWE SIBEKO / POOL

LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Trial data for the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca's possible coronavirus vaccine could be given to regulators this year but corners cannot be cut to speed up approval for emergency use, a scientist leading the trials said on Tuesday.

The Oxford vaccine produced an immune response in its first human trials, underlining its position as one of the leading candidates in the race to combat a virus that has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and crippled the global economy.

“It is just possible that if the cases accrue rapidly in the clinical trials, that we could have that data before regulators this year,” Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told BBC Radio of progress in larger, late-stage trials.

“Then there would be a process that they go through in order to make a full assessment of the data.”

The trials hit the headlines earlier this week when the Financial Times reported the Trump administration was considering fast-tracking the vaccine for use in the United States ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

One option being explored would involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarding “emergency use authorization” in October to the potential vaccine, the newspaper said.

Pollard said the process for emergency use authorisation was well established. “But it still involves having carefully conducted data … and evidence that it actually works,” he said.

The Financial Times reported that Washington was considering basing emergency approval of the vaccine on just a small UK study of around 10,000 people.

Pollard, the chief investigator of the global clinical trials of the vaccine candidate, said AstraZeneca would take the data to regulators once the scientists were satisfied with it.

He said Oxford had enrolled about 20,000 people in trials across Britain, Brazil and South Africa, with AstraZeneca leading a U.S. trial of 30,000 people.

“The size of the trials still isn’t the issue here, what you need is to have enough cases accruing during the time of observation in the trials,” Pollard said.

(Additional reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter)

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.