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1.
Science, Technology & Human Values ; : 1, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1523179

ABSTRACT

Preclinical (animal) testing and human testing of drugs and vaccines are rarely considered by social scientists side by side. Where this is done, it is typically for theoretically exploring the ethics of the two situations to compare relative treatment. In contrast, we empirically explore how human clinical trial participants understand the role of animal test subjects in vaccine development. Furthermore, social science research has only concentrated on broad public opinion and the views of patients about animal research, whereas we explore the views of a public group particularly implicated in pharmaceutical development: <italic>experimental subjects</italic>. We surveyed and interviewed COVID-19 vaccine trial participants in Oxford, UK, on their views about taking part in a vaccine trial and the role of animals in trials. We found that trial participants mirrored assumptions about legitimate reasons for animal testing embedded in regulation and provided insight into (i) the nuances of public opinion on animal research;(ii) the co-production of human and animal experimental subjects;(iii) how vaccine and medicine testing, and the motivations and demographics of clinical trial participants, change in an outbreak;and (iv) what public involvement can offer to science. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Science, Technology & Human Values is the property of Sage Publications Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(10)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476515

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine nationalism has become a key topic of discussion during the development, testing, and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Media attention has highlighted the ways that global, coordinated access to vaccines has been limited during the pandemic. It has also exposed how some countries have secured vaccine supply, through bilateral purchase agreements and the way pharmaceutical companies have priced, negotiated, and delivered these supplies. Much of the focus of this debate has been on the vaccine supply 'winners' and 'losers', but the voices of public opinion have been more limited. METHODS: We explore the concepts of vaccine nationalism and internationalism from the perspective of vaccine trial participants, using an empirical perspectives study that involved interviews with phase I/II COVID-19 vaccine trial participants in Oxford, UK. We surveyed and interviewed participants between September and October 2020 about their views, motivations and experiences in taking part in the trial. RESULTS: First, we show how trial participants describe national and international ideas about vaccination as intertwined and challenge claims that these positions are mutually exclusive or oppositional. Second, we analyse these viewpoints further to show that vaccine nationalism is closely connected with national pride and metaphors of a country's scientific achievements. Participants held a global outlook and were highly supportive of the prioritisation of vaccines by global need, but many were also pessimistic that such a solution could be possible. CONCLUSION: Trial participants constitute an informed public group, with situated public expertise that the global community could draw on as an expert opinion. We argue that vaccine nationalism is strongly attached to national character and, therefore, it is more difficult for ownership of a vaccine to be though of as international.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
3.
Clin Transl Sci ; 15(2): 524-534, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476158

ABSTRACT

The safety of novel therapeutics and vaccines are typically assessed in early phase clinical trials involving "healthy volunteers." Abnormalities in such individuals can be difficult to interpret and may indicate previously unrecognized medical conditions. The frequency of incidental findings (IFs) in healthy volunteers who attend for clinical trial screening is unclear. To assess this, we retrospectively analyzed data for 1838 "healthy volunteers" screened for enrolment in a UK multicenter, phase I/II severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) vaccine trial. Participants were predominantly White (89.7%, 1640/1828) with a median age of 34 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 27-44). There were 27.7% of participants (510/1838) who had at least one IF detected. The likelihood of identifying evidence of a potential, new blood-borne virus infection was low (1 in 238 participants) compared with identification of an elevated alanine transaminase (ALT; 1 in 17 participants). A large proportion of participants described social habits that could impact negatively on their health; 21% consumed alcohol in excess, 10% were current smokers, 11% described recreational drug use, and only 48% had body weight in the ideal range. Our data demonstrate that screening prior to enrollment in early phase clinical trials identifies a range of IFs, which should inform discussion during the consent process. Greater clarity is needed to ensure an appropriate balance is struck between early identification of medical problems and avoidance of exclusion of volunteers due to spurious or physiological abnormalities. Debate should inform the role of the trial physician in highlighting and advising about unhealthy social habits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Incidental Findings , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Alanine Transaminase/blood , Body Mass Index , Female , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16193, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351975

ABSTRACT

We have optimised a reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 from extracted RNA for clinical application. We improved the stability and reliability of the RT-LAMP assay by the addition of a temperature-dependent switch oligonucleotide to reduce self- or off-target amplification. We then developed freeze-dried master mix for single step RT-LAMP reaction, simplifying the operation for end users and improving long-term storage and transportation. The assay can detect as low as 13 copies of SARS-CoV2 RNA per reaction (25-µL). Cross reactivity with other human coronaviruses was not observed. We have applied the new RT-LAMP assay for testing clinical extracted RNA samples extracted from swabs of 72 patients in the UK and 126 samples from Greece and demonstrated the overall sensitivity of 90.2% (95% CI 83.8-94.7%) and specificity of 92.4% (95% CI 83.2-97.5%). Among 115 positive samples which Ct values were less than 34, the RT-LAMP assay was able to detect 110 of them with 95.6% sensitivity. The specificity was 100% when RNA elution used RNase-free water. The outcome of RT-LAMP can be reported by both colorimetric detection and quantifiable fluorescent reading. Objective measures with a digitized reading data flow would allow for the sharing of results for local or national surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/standards , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/standards , Sensitivity and Specificity
5.
Lancet ; 397(10269): 99-111, 2021 01 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057535

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. METHODS: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0-75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4-97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8-80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3-4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Brazil , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Single-Blind Method , South Africa , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom , Young Adult
6.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(2): e26-e35, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894296

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused more than 1 million deaths in the first 6 months of the pandemic and huge economic and social upheaval internationally. An efficacious vaccine is essential to prevent further morbidity and mortality. Although some countries might deploy COVID-19 vaccines on the strength of safety and immunogenicity data alone, the goal of vaccine development is to gain direct evidence of vaccine efficacy in protecting humans against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 so that manufacture of efficacious vaccines can be selectively upscaled. A candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 might act against infection, disease, or transmission, and a vaccine capable of reducing any of these elements could contribute to disease control. However, the most important efficacy endpoint, protection against severe disease and death, is difficult to assess in phase 3 clinical trials. In this Review, we explore the challenges in assessing the efficacy of candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, discuss the caveats needed to interpret reported efficacy endpoints, and provide insight into answering the seemingly simple question, "Does this COVID-19 vaccine work?"


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Research Design , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination
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