COVID -19: Oxford University scientists closer to the discovery of a safe and effective vaccine

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Early stage human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine have found it produces strong immune response and shows no early safety concerns, according to results published today in The Lancet.
The team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, say they have taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.



The results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns, and both T-cell and antibody responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including robust neutralising antibody responses were demonstrated.
During the study, participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection, and these responses were strongest after a booster dose, with 100% of participants’ blood having neutralising activity against the coronavirus.



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Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the study, said: “The 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. The immune responses observed following vaccination are in line with what previous animal studies have shown are associated with protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although we must continue with our rigorous clinical trial programme to confirm this in humans,”
“We saw the strongest immune response in the 10 participants who received two doses of the vaccine, indicating that this might be a good strategy for vaccination.”



A UK Phase I/II trial began in April testing the Oxford coronavirus vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The team started working to develop a vaccine against the global threat that is coronavirus in January 2020 and have been working with unprecedented urgency in a race against the coronavirus.
During the Phase I/II trial the vaccine has been evaluated in more than 1,000 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years in a randomised controlled trial.

The next step in studying the vaccine is to confirm that it can effectively protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.




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