University of Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Produces Strong Immune Response
In January 2020, the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group started working to develop a vaccine against the global threat known as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). And in April, Oxford’s team started a UK Phase I/II trial of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine called the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.
Results of Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Phase I/II Trial
Furthermore, as of Monday, July 20, 2020, the results of Phase I/II trial have already been published in the scientific journal, The Lancet. Indicated in the study that there is no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.
Upon 14 days of vaccination, the vaccine provoked a T-Cell response, wherein white blood cells called T-Cells can recognize cells that are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and kill that virus-infected cell. Within 28 days of vaccination, antibodies which bind to the virus and are able to neutralize the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted are also developed.
According to Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the trial, “The interim Phase I/II data for our coronavirus vaccine shows that the vaccine did not lead to any unexpected reactions and had a similar safety profile to previous vaccines of this type.”
Professor Pollard also added that the immune responses observed following vaccination are in line with what they expect will be associated with protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
He said that they saw the strongest immune response in participants who received two doses of the vaccine. This, according to him, indicates that this might be a good strategy for vaccination.
The study published in The Lancet is called the Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomized controlled trial.
Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Phase II/III Trials, Underway
Phase II/III trials of the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine, on the other hand, are already underway in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa; while for the US, the trials are already due to start.
Through this phase of trials, it will determine how well the vaccine will protect from the COVID-19 disease. The safety and immune responses in different age range and at various doses will also be measured in Phase II/III.
About the Further Development of the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine
The University of Oxford is working with AstraZeneca, a UK-based global biopharmaceutical company, for the further development, large-scale manufacture, and potential distribution of the said COVID-19 vaccine.
Also, according to the University of Oxford, to help accelerate the vaccine’s development, the project has been further supported by £84 million of Government funding.
And so far, should the late-stage clinical trials prove successful, the UK, US, Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and Serum Institute of India, have committed to supply more than 2 billion doses of the vaccine.
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