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Covid-19: Oxford team begins vaccine trials in Brazil and South Africa to determine efficacy

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2612 (Published 29 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2612

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Developers say that they are exploring every avenue to find an effective vaccine for covid-19. Elisabeth Mahase reports

Vaccine developers at the University of Oxford have begun testing their covid-19 vaccine candidate in multiple countries around the world, in the hope that it will increase their chance of determining efficacy.

Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology who is leading the project, said that the low levels of transmission in the UK now meant that there was “little chance of determining efficacy” in the country. But the developers have had numerous offers from other countries wanting to run efficacy trials and have now started work in Brazil and South Africa, with another country in Africa set to follow, as well as a trial in the US.

“Our problem is knowing where transmission will be in four to six weeks’ time. It’s very difficult to predict, so we are working in multiple settings,” Gilbert told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on 23 June.1 But …

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