MORE THAN 10,000 volunteers are being recruited for the second phase of a vaccine trial for COVID-19.
Scientists from the University of Oxford are seeking children and older adults in order to study the effects of the vaccine on their immune system.
Children aged between five and 12 are needed for the next stage of the trial along with adults over the age of 70.
Adults aged between 56 and 69 are also needed for the research.
While the first phase of the trial saw 1,000 people given the jab, that number is now set to rise rapidly to as many as 10,260.
The Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine effort is being headed by Professor Adrian Hill, an Irish scientist who previously worked on Ebola and malaria vaccines.
The trial will see volunteers given one or two doses of either the new vaccine - ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 - or another licensed vaccine.
Scientists will then compare the number of infections in both test groups.
It’s a process that could take anywhere between two and six months depending on the number of people exposed to the virus.
And this could take between two and to six months, depending on how many people are exposed to the virus.
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology, at the Jenner Institute, told the BBC: "We have had a lot of interest already from people over the age of 55 years who were not eligible to take part in the phase-one study.
"And we will now be able to include older age groups to continue the vaccine assessment.
"We will also be including more study sites, in different parts of the country."
Initial results for the drug have been promising, with a previous trial of the same vaccine on monkeys yielding positive results in giving the animals protection against the disease.
Should human trials yield similar results then scientists are aiming to have at least a million doses of coronavirus vaccine ready by September.
Despite these findings, UK government officials have been keen to stress there are no guarantees a vaccine will be found.
The development and manufacture of one is also likely to take between 12 and 18 months.