Oxford University coronavirus vaccine induces strong immune response in early trial

by Bryan Brammer · Jul 20th, 2020 2:37 pm

Last Updated Jul 21st, 2020 at 1:44 pm

An early trial of Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine has induced a strong immune response in hundreds of people, according to newly released preliminary data.

The vaccine, which the university developed in partnership with drugmaker AstraZeneca, was administered to 1,077 people and caused an immune response in those aged 18 to 55 that lasted at least two months, the medical journal The Lancet published Monday.

The vaccine, referenced as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, produced strong responses in both parts of the body's immune system. It prompted a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination and an antibody response within 28 days.

"We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody," said Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University. "What this vaccine does particularly well is trigger both arms of the immune system."

Compared to the control group that received a meningitis vaccine, the potential coronavirus vaccine produced minor side effects, including fever, chills, headache, and muscle pain.

Co-author of the latest study, Sarah Gilbert, said the early results of the trials are very positive, although there is still a lot left to learn.

"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," Gilbert said. "If our vaccine is effective, it is a promising option as these types of vaccine can be manufactured at large scale."

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that the early results were an "important step in the right direction," although he said earlier on Monday that he could not be "100% confident" that a vaccine would be ready by the end of this year.

Larger trials of this vaccine with approximately 10,000 participants are currently underway, while a trial looking to test 30,000 people is scheduled to begin within the next few weeks.


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