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Monday, December 6, 2021

Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial: Coronavirus Vaccine Safe, Induces Immune Response, Say Scientists

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial: The coronavirus vaccine created by the University of Oxford appears safe and has shown a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot in an early trial, scientists announced on Monday after the first phase of human trials.

British researchers involved in the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial had first begun testing the Coronavirus vaccine in April this year in about 1,000 people.

Half of these volunteers got the experimental vaccine, an AP report said. Such early trials are usually designed only to evaluate the safety, but in this case, the experts were also looking to see what kind of immune response was provoked, the report added.

In the research that was published on Monday in The Lancet journal, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55. “We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody,” Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, told Associated Press.

He added that the vaccine triggers both arms of the immune system, and added that it also produces neutralizing antibodies — the molecules that are key to blocking infection.

The results during the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial show it induces strong antibody and T-cell immune responses for up to 56 days after administering it. The report said T-cells are crucial for maintaining protection against the virus for years.

Though the findings are seen as promising, the experts still feel it is too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection as larger trials get underway. Professor Sarah Gilbert, the co-author of the study, was quoted by PTI as saying that there’s still much work to do before it can be confirmed that the Oxford vaccine can help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that these early results do hold promise.

One of the top leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates in the world, the Oxford University vaccine in collaboration with AstraZeneca published the initial data and findings on the efficacy of the vaccine today.

The vaccine candidate which was one of the first candidates to have reached the clinical trial stage is undergoing the phase 3 of the clinical trials at the moment somewhere in Brazil.

Earlier this month, the makers of the vaccine named AZD1222 had said that they were enthused with the affirmative findings and result of the initial human trials. They had also said that the findings of the phase 1 of human trials would be released by the end of July. More than a 100 vaccine candidates are being developed in different countries to help the world get rid of Covid-19 pandemic. Many vaccine candidates are also reported to be in the human trial stage while some of them are at the initial stage of animal trials.

Apart from the vaccine candidate of the Oxford university, the other vaccines which show promise of an early breakthrough include United States’ Moderna Inc’s vaccine which is expected to commence the third and the final phase of human trials on July 27.

The vaccine candidate of Russia which has reportedly fast-tracked the development of the vaccine has also reportedly shown encouraging results. Earlier last week, the Russian military hospital had discharged 18 volunteers who had participated in the first phase human trial of the vaccine after keeping them under observation for close to a month.

India has also started the clinical trial of its vaccine candidate Covaxin. The first phase of the human trials will be done at AIIMS, New Delhi, AIIMS Patna and Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak involving a total of 350 volunteers spread across the three hospitals.

AIIMS New Delhi is expected to roll out the human trials soon as it has got the approval from its Ethics committee to begin the procedure.

(Source: Financial Express)

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