Expert commentary: Oxford vaccine candidate

Wednesday, 22 Jul, 2020

According to the report, the experimental vaccine known as AZD1222 tested over 1,000 people in April.

The vaccine being developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca along with Oxford University induced an immune response in all study participants who received two doses without any worrisome side effects.

The vaccine trial saw levels of T-cells peak 14 days after vaccination and antibody levels peak after 28 days. Needless to say, the internet is already celebrating by doing what they do best - memes! But if the natural cases of the disease are dwindling in those areas, it can be hard to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine. With the growing rally of positive cases, it is imperative now more than ever.

A team at Oxford University in the United Kingdom has released promising results from early trials.

ALSO READ | US COVID-19 Vaccine To Enter Final Stage Human Trials!

Early results of a closely watched Phase 1/2 trial published this week in The Lancet suggest the vaccine candidate is safe and induces an immune response.

The vaccine under development will be injected into 4-5,000 volunteers in Pune and Mumbai - which have high rates of coronavirus infections - as part of the crucial phase three of the trial which will determine if the antidote can be introduced in the market or not.

"We are seeing good immune response in nearly everybody", said Prfoessor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University. More than 150 possible vaccines are in various stages of development across the world.

Professor Gilbert at the Jenner Institute at Oxford University suspected their model for a Mers vaccine might work for COVID-19 and got to work immediately after Chinese scientists sequenced the virus in January.

Monday marked an important day in the battle against COVID as the first results of Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine showed that it is safe and provokes an immune reaction in a person that lasts for nearly two months.

As per the results, the vaccine boosted T cell and antibody immunity.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the results "very positive news", adding: "There are no guarantees, we're not there yet and further trials will be necessary - but this is an important step in the right direction". It carries a gene for one of the proteins in SARS-Cov-2 and inserts it into a recipient's cells, which in turn, cause the patient's cells to make that protein, which is then recognized by the immune system as foreign.

Kathryn Edwards, scientific director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, Tenn., noted the CanSino vaccine may not be protective enough for older adults, but it might be useful in children. "As we are moving towards the availability of a vaccine and the manufacturing will start, talks on how the government will procure and distribute them so that the needy gets it, have already been initiated", he said.