Two coronavirus vaccines 'produce immune response'

Tuesday, 21 Jul, 2020

The vaccine is now in its final stage of trials that are being carried out in Brazil and South Africa.

Two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, one from China and the other from the United Kingdom, have proven safe for humans and produced strong immune reactions among patients involved in two separate clinical trials, the Lancet medical journal announced on Monday.

The trial included 1,077 healthy adults, aged 18 to 55 years, with no history of COVID-19. Early trials involving over 1,000 participants show injection developed by the researchers is making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus.

The UK government has agreed to buy 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Biontech, and France's Valneva.

The results of research published today in medical journal The Lancet concluded: "ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was safe, tolerated, and immunogenic, while reactogenicity was reduced with paracetamol".

The director of the Jenner Institute Oxford University, Dr Adrian Hill, said the results were hugely promising.

AstraZeneca is already boosting its manufacturing so that the vaccine can be distributed as widely as possible, if it can be proven to work.

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

The Oxford vaccine, which is being produced in partnership with the British-Swiss drug giant AstraZeneca, is already in large Phase III tests in Britain, Brazil and South Africa.

The vaccine is one of dozens being developed around the world, but Oxford's is in pole position and by quite some margin.

For its trial, the team at Oxford used a genetically modified strain of the common cold virus that infects chimpanzees.

The shot also generated sufficient levels of virus-attacking T-cells, offering additional protection.

The university's Prof Sarah Gilbert, who was co-author of the study, said: "There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise".

T-Cells are a type of white blood cell, which trains the body's immune system to destroy infected cells.

"Nor do we know if this vaccine can protect those most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease". It's hard for us to compare our vaccine results to other people's vaccines.