Good News! Oxford Vaccine Shows Immune Response

OB Bureau

London: The COVID-19 experimental vaccine by AstraZeneca and UK’s Oxford University has been found to be safe and has produced an immune response in the early clinical trials.

The vaccine, named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, didn’t result in any serious side effects and produced antibody and T-cell immune responses in the 1,077 people it was tried on, according to results published in The Lancet medical journal.

Around 70 per cent of the people developed fever and headache, which were managed by paracetamol.

“We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period,” Andrew Pollard of the University of Oxford said.

“However, we need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection, and for how long any protection lasts,” he added.

This vaccine is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. It is heavily modified so that it can’t cause infections in humans and will make it “look” more like coronavirus, the BBC reported. This was done by transferring the genetic instructions of the coronavirus’ “spike protein” to the vaccine. COVID-19 uses this spike protein to invade human cells. Hence, the vaccine resembles the coronavirus and our immune system learns how to attack it.

What’s Next?

The main purpose of this phase was safety. In the next phase, more than 10,000 people will take part in the UK followed by a large trial involving 30,000 people in the US, 2,000 in South Africa, and 5,000 in Brazil.

The vaccine could probably be available at the end of this year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

AstraZeneca is among the leading vaccine developers who are in mid and late-stage trials.

US-based Moderna is believed to be currently leading in the development. China’s Sinovac Biotech is also at the forefront.

AstraZeneca has said it will not seek to profit from the vaccine during the pandemic.


OB Bureau

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