A FAMILY who all signed up for Oxford University’s world-first trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine have been comparing symptoms with each other since getting the jab.

Tony Viney was the first to be injected on Wednesday morning, his wife Katie went in the next day, followed by their 19-year-old daughter Rhiannon who took part on Friday.

As of Monday morning, 601 people had taken part across the country. In total, 1,112 people will take part.

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Half of the trial volunteers will receive the potential Covid-19 vaccine, and half will get a placebo vaccine which protects against meningitis but not coronavirus.

None of them will know which one they are given.

Now the Vineys, who live in Bicester, must keep a daily diary online checking their temperatures and keeping a score from zero to five of how they feel.

Mum-of-four Katie Viney, who will also feature on the latest series of BBC TV show 'You Are What You Wear' with her husband, said it was still 'really exciting' knowing that they could be part of the vaccine that ‘makes history’.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “It’s been fantastic so far.

“We have no idea who has got the vaccine. Tony and Rhiannon were at the Churchill and I was at Warneford – so we wonder if that means anything.

“We haven’t had any symptoms, but on the first evening Rhiannon’s arm was a bit sore.”

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She said that, as part of the diary keeping, they must examine the ‘site’ where they were injected in their arms – keeping watch for red circles around the area.

But since getting the jab, the couple have not been able to see the ‘dot’ on each other and Mr Viney even mistook a freckle for the ‘site’.

Mrs Viney, who is a teaching assistant at Bure Park Primary School, added: “Everything that they’re coming back with at the moment is just really positive, you’re just hoping that this is the vaccine that works and we will be back to normality soon.

“You just can’t help but think that this might be it and this is the biggest thing that has happened and hopefully will happen in our lifetimes.”

Oxford Mail:

Until recently there has been some debate over the timescale of producing the vaccine and how long it would take to make on a large scale.

However last week AstraZeneca, a Cambridge-based drugs company, signed an agreement with the university to distribute it around the world when the time comes.

Mrs Viney said some people she spoke to had been alarmed at the idea of being injected with the untested new formula, and she cited the famous case of Thalidomide – the drug prescribed for morning sickness in the 1950s which later turned out to cause deformities in babies.

However, she said: “A lot of people are saying ‘I would never do that’ but the days of Thalidomide are gone – they wouldn’t take the risks with people’s lives anymore.

Oxford Mail:

Our front page before when the Vinney's signed up

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“People that have actually done their homework know what we’re being injected with.

“Others have said ‘oh you must be going into quarantine now?’ but we’re not being injected with the real thing – it’s a vaccine.”

The family will have another appointment at the end of the month for more blood tests.

Meanwhile the next phase of the trial is to begin vaccinating larger numbers of people.

To look at whether the vaccine works to protect from Covid-19, the statisticians at the university’s Jenner Institute will compare the number of infections in the control group with the number of infections in the vaccinated group.

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For this to happen, a small number of people in the study will need to develop the virus.

On the Oxford University trial updates page it says: “How quickly we reach the numbers required will depend on the levels of the virus transmission in the community.

“If transmission remains high, we may get enough data in a couple of months to see if the vaccine works, but if transmission levels drop, this could take up to six months.”

Oxford University said there was no update, but the trial was progressing well.