First Human Trial of Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Raises Hope

First Human Trial of Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Raises Hope

Data revealed that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate generated robust immune responses in early-stage clinical trials.

British drugmaker, AstraZeneca, and Oxford University have co-developed an experimental vaccine in hope to protect people against COVID-19. It is officially known as AZD1222. 

The AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine candidate is made from a weakened version of a harmless common cold virus known as adenovirus. 

How effective is it?

Data revealed that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate generated robust immune responses in early-stage clinical trials, which involved 1,077 people. The vaccine triggers the production of antibodies and T-cells capable of combatting the virus. This is possible without any alarming side effects.

One month after injection with a single dose of AZD1222, 95% of participants witnessed an increase in antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein by as many as four times. It also set in motion a T-cell response, which lasted up till two months. 

The trial results published in The Lancet also revealed that study participants who received two doses of the vaccine saw the strongest immune response.

Despite the fact that 70 per cent of people developed a fever or headache, these mild symptoms could be managed with painkillers.

“If our vaccine is effective, it is a promising option as these types of vaccine can be manufactured at large scale,” co-author Professor Sarah Gilbert from the University of Oxford said.

Also read: Cure COVID-19 Blues Online With Pretty Window Views from Across the Globe

Long way to go before finalisation of COVID-19 vaccine

However, more work is essential before they can confirm if the vaccine will help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. It requires larger trials to determine whether it is efficacious against the coronavirus.

According to AstraZeneca, late-stage trials are currently ongoing in several worst-hit countries. They are the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa.  These trials will ascertain how successful and safe the vaccine is. On top of that, they will measure immune responses in different age ranges and at various doses.

The World Health Organisation’s chief scientist described AZD1222 as “the leading candidate in a global race to halt a pandemic”. 

Currently, there are more than 150 possible vaccines in the midst of development. This includes a plausible COVID-19 vaccine by CanSinoBiologics and China’s military research unit similarly producing promising results. 

Despite the positive results, there is still a long way to go before these vaccines make it to the market. Thousands of subjects, including those susceptible to developing severe illnesses as a result of COVID-19 must be trialed. This entails elderly and people with diabetes.

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Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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