Oxford's COVID-19 Vaccine - Clinical Trials in UK, Brazil and South Africa

Clinical trials of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine expanding to Brazil and South Africa.

Last Updated:
June 24, 2020 - 4:05pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University is now being given to volunteers in Brazil, marking a next step in the development of a drug to potentially keep people from becoming infected by the virus.

The United Kingdom university is working in partner with pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca on the vaccine – ChAdOx1nCoV-19.  

The Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), which is coordinating the study in Brazil, said in a statement that its researchers have begun issuing the first doses to health workers and medical staff – including ambulance drivers.

Researchers “began triaging volunteers [on] Saturday ... following the protocols established for the study. Participants must test negative for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the university said in a statement.

Volunteers must be 18 to 55 years old and work "on the frontlines" of health care. Those with a negative blood test were administered the vaccine.

The vaccine has already been administered to 4,000 British volunteers with 10,000 being recruited. The first phase in Brazil is expected to recruit 2,000 volunteers. The vaccine expected to also be administered to South Africans this week. 

Brazil has the second-highest COVID-19 caseload and death toll worldwide after the United States, with more than 1.1 million people infected and 52,000 virus-related deaths. 

Eduardo Pazuella, Brazilian acting Health minister, has announced that its government is close to signing a contract to produce the vaccine domestically. 

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