Oxford trial results spur COVID-19 vaccine hope

Wednesday, 22 Jul, 2020

We need to await the additional phase 3 clinical trials, that will study the potential vaccine candidate's performance and safety. And last week, the US -based company Moderna released data in the New England Journal of Medicine that also demonstrated this two-pronged effect of neutralizing antibodies and T-cell response.

In all participants, a T-cell response was also induced, peaking by day 14, and maintained two months after injection. "Binding antibody response peaked at 656.5 & 571 ELISA units for high & low vaccine dose, respectively", Lancet had tweeted.

The experimental vaccine, which has been licensed to AstraZeneca, produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, data showed on Monday, preserving hopes it could be in use by the end of 2020.

Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK's Vaccine Taskforce said: "The UK is fortunate to have such outstanding academic innovators working alongside the highly experienced global team at AstraZeneca".

Britain has already secured a supply of 100 million doses of the vaccine, which is being developed at an unprecedented speed. These specific antibodies are infection-fighting proteins produced by the body that may prevent the virus from infecting healthy cells. Monday's reports show that "each of these vaccines is worth taking all the way through to a Phase III study", Dr. Peter Jay Hotez, a vaccine researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine, tells The New York Times. The results were published in a preprint server, meaning they have not yet undergone the normal scientific review process.

As per initial data available from phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, more than half of the participants developed headaches and fatigue after receiving the vaccine shot.

The vaccine also induced the body to make T cells - activating a second part of the immune system that experts increasingly believe will be important for a lasting immune response.

In the U.S. there are hopes of a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by USA pharmaceutical firm Moderna.

"We're really pleased that it seems to be behaving just as we thought it would do. Besides, we'll soon begin producing the vaccine in large volumes", he added. The late-stage trials are also due to start in the United States, where prevalence is higher.

In a statement, CEO of Serum Institute of India said, "The trials have shown promising results and we are extremely happy about it". The phase three trial to assess that is under way with more than 10,000 people already vaccinated. Provoking an immune reaction is the first part of vaccine development. We don't know exactly know what protects us against a coronavirus infection, as there is still so much we don't know, so our research continues.