In some good news amidst the gloom created by the coronavirus, Oxford University has now confirmed that its COVID-19 vaccine which is being developed with AstraZeneca has produced strong immune responses in adults as per an early study. The findings from the final phase of the trials is expected in the next few weeks.
The results, published in The Lancet medical journal, shed more light on preliminary data to detail the immune response among senior citizens, perceived to be at the highest risk of contracting the infection.
The results of Oxford’s Phase 2 study show that the vaccine is showing better results among older people while producing a similar immune response in old and young adults. Between May 30 and August 8, 2020, 560 including 240 over the age of 70, were enrolled for the study.
“Our findings show that the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine was safe and well tolerated with a lower reactogenicity profile in older adults than in younger adults. Immunogenicity was similar across age groups after a boost vaccination. If these responses correlate with protection in humans, these findings are encouraging because older individuals are at disproportionate risk of severe COVID-19 and so any vaccine adopted for use against SARS-CoV-2 must be effective in older adults,” The study report published in The Lancet said.
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“Inducing robust immune responses in older adults has been a long-standing challenge. To show this vaccine technology is able to induce these responses — in the age group most at risk from severe Covid-19 disease — offers hope that vaccine efficacy will be similar in younger and older adults,” Angela Minassian, an Oxford investigator said in a statement.
Vaccine candidates being made by Pfizer and Moderna Inc have also shown positive results during the trials. Pfizer claimed on Wednesday that an analysis of trials showed its COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective. Moderna’s appears equally effective, bringing in hope.
All eyes will now be on the final outcome of vaccine trials to be put out by Oxford in the coming weeks.