Oxford varsity launches human problem trial on reinfection


London, April 19

Healthy young adults who have previously contracted Covid-19 will be recruited to take part in a new human challenge trial to study how the body’s immune system reacts to the deadly coronavirus, for a better understanding to protect against the virus and also for more accurate tests.

The Oxford University led human challenge trial will look at what kind of immune response can stop people from becoming re-infected and also how the immune system reacts second time round. People aged between 18 and 30 who have previously been naturally infected will be recruited and re-exposed to the virus in a safe, controlled environment and paid around 5,000 pounds to be quarantined for 17 days at a hospital.

“Challenge studies tell us things that other studies cannot because, unlike natural infection, they are tightly controlled. When we re-infect these participants, we will know exactly how their immune system has reacted to the first Covid infection, exactly when the second infection occurs, and exactly how much virus they got,” said Helen McShane, Professor of Vaccinology at the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and Chief Investigator on the study. The study will take place in two phases. —PTI


1st Oz flight lands in NZ since border closure

Melbourne: Hundreds of passengers from Australia landed in Auckland on Monday following the implementation of a travel bubble under which New Zealand allowed Australian flights for the first time since the borders were shut in March last year. The first flight took off Monday morning at 7 am (local time) from the Sydney airport to Auckland following the opening of the travel bubble, which would allow Australians to visit New Zealand without going into quarantine and a permit. The two sides borders were shut in March last year after the coronavirus started spreading rapidly around the globe. PTI


EU to buy 100 mn more vaccine doses

Berlin: Pharmaceutical company BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer say they would provide 100 million more doses of their vaccine to the European Union this year. The two companies said on Monday that the 27-nation group’s executive Commission exercised an option to purchase the additional doses, bringing the total number of shots to be delivered to the EU in 2021 to 600 million. AP



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