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Feature The BMJ Interview

How the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine was made

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 12 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n86

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Rapid Response:

Is it ethical to include children in the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials?

Dear Editor

Speaking about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials, Professor Pollard says "...we're moving on to new trials to evaluate different age groups - for example, children".[1]

What is the justification for including children in coronavirus vaccine trials? 

Young people do not appear to be at serious risk with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

To vaccinate people at an early age with what potentially could be annual coronavirus vaccination throughout life, with unknown long-term cumulative consequences, raises important ethical questions, particularly when they are not at serious risk of disease.

On what basis did the ethics committee evaluating the protocols for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials conclude it was justifiable to include children and others not at serious risk of the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

1. How the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine was made. BMJ 2021;372:n86  

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 February 2021
Elizabeth Hart
Independent person investigating the over-use of vaccine products and conflicts of interest in vaccination policy
Adelaide, Australia