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Coronavirus vaccine update: Oxford vaccine enters the advanced trials and ICMR finds HCQ effective, expands its use – Times of India

Coronavirus vaccine update: Oxford vaccine enters the advanced trials and ICMR finds HCQ effective, expands its use - Times of India 1

The race towards finding a coronavirus vaccine has ntensifiesd as the virus has infected more than 5 million people till now. A promising vaccine candidate from Oxford University has reportedly begun its advanced human trials.

The University of Oxford said on Friday that the researchers have begun recruiting children and adults for advanced human trials. The trails will include 10,260 volunteers across the UK.

Three phases of trials

First phase:
The first phase of the trial began in April with almost 1,000 volunteers. The results of the first trial were complete and is now under follow-up. The advanced trial phase will include phase two and phase three.

Second phase:
The range of the volunteers were expanded, the vaccine will be administered on kids as well as adults between 5-12 years and 56-59 years. Some people above the age of 70 will also be included.

Third phase: In the third phase, the vaccine will be tested on a large number of adults, which will help researchers understand how the vaccine will help in preventing the complications related to COVID 19.

The advanced trial phase

The adults participating in the second and third phase will be given one or two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or another licensed vaccine called MenACWY.

“The clinical studies are progressing very well and we are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population,” Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said in a statement.

This vaccine failed to prevent infection in animals, a few days ago.

The HCQ breakthrough

Not one but three studies find that hydroxychloroquine reduces the chances of contracting COVID 19 infection. Thus, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) allows more frontline workers to take it as a preventive drug.

HCQ is an anti-malarial drug. The advisory released on Friday suggests surveillance workers, paramilitary and police personnel, as well as medical staff working in the non-COVID hospital and blocks to start taking the pills as a preventive measure.

Until now, only high-risk individuals including the healthcare workers involved in the containment of COVID 19 patients and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases, were being administered the drug. These people will continue taking the drug.

Earlier, the HCQ had gained criticism for lacking scientific evidence that it worked against the novel coronavirus.

The drug will be discontinued if rare side effects are noted

According to the study conducted on 1,323 healthcare workers, the ICMR found that mild adverse effects such as nausea in 8.9 per cent workers, abdominal pain in 7.3 per cent workers, vomiting in 1.5 per cent, low blood sugar in 1.7 per cent and cardio-vascular effect in 1.9 per cent were seen.

The advisory said the drug will be discontinued if it causes the rare side effects related to heart, like cardiomyopathy, which and make it harder for the heart to pump blood in the entire body.

The advisory also mentioned that in rare cases, HCQ can also cause blurring of vision, which is self-limiting and improves once the drug is discontinued.

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