For the first time, the University of Oxford has announced to assess safety and immune response of the COVID-19 vaccine in children, reports Reuters. The vaccine which will be assessed has developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford.

According to a statement of the university, the aim of new trial is to determine whether the vaccine is effective on people between the ages of 6 and 17.

Around 300 volunteers will be enrolled and first inoculations are expected this month, Oxford said.

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Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is a two-dose vaccine and it is cheaper and easier to distribute. On February 11, World Health Organisation recommended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for all, including those aged 65 or older.

WHO’s recommendation came after doubts were raised about the vaccine’s safety in areas where the South African variant of COVID-19 has been creating an amplified medical emergency. 

The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been under the scanner due to a lack of sufficient data about the jab’s effectiveness in people over the age of 65, which was acknowledged by Alejandro Cravioto, the chief of SAGE. 

Meanwhile, the University of Oxford published a study that stated the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine significantly reduces virus transmission and is highly protective after a single dose.

Hailing the finding as good news, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC radio, “It does show the world that the Oxford jab works, it works well. It slows transmission by around two-thirds, so it categorically supports the strategy that we’re undertaking.”