Oxford University scientists said that early vaccine test results showed protective immune responses, the first step in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, per the Associated Press.
“I think it’s going to be very difficult to control this pandemic without a vaccine,” Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, told the AP. (RELATED: Young People Are Allegedly Creating Mask-Free Coronavirus Speakeasies As Infection Rate Among That Generation Rises)
Hill told the AP that the vaccine triggers “both arms of the immune system” by producing neutralizing antibodies to block infection and creating T-cells to destroy cells taken over by the virus.
The study posted in The Lancet collected data from 1,007 people aged 18 to 55. The trial ran from April to May and all participants had no history of COVID-19, per the study. Those who received the vaccine apparently showed an antibody response within 28 days and a T-cell response within 14 days.
“There’s increasing evidence that having a T-cell response as well as antibodies could be very important in controlling COVID-19,” Hill told the AP. Hill said the Oxford vaccine used a cold virus from a chimpanzee implanted with the coronavirus’ spike protein to trigger an immune response.
Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine produces a good immune response, reveals new study.
Teams at @VaccineTrials and @OxfordVacGroup have found there were no safety concerns, and the vaccine stimulated strong immune responses: https://t.co/krqRzXMh7B pic.twitter.com/Svd3MhCXWZ
— University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) July 20, 2020
“While there is more work to be done, today’s data increases our confidence that the vaccine will work and allows us to continue our plans to manufacture the vaccine at scale for broad and equitable access around the world,” Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals Research and Development at AstraZeneca, said in a University of Oxford news release.
Oxford reportedly partnered with AstraZeneca to produce the vaccine globally, with AstraZeneca committing to creating two billion doses.
“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,” Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford Professor and lead author of the study, said in the Oxford news release.
Researchers are reportedly considering a “challenge” trial that would have participants become intentionally infected with COVID-19.
“This has been done before in 19 different infectious diseases to develop vaccines and drugs and is likely to happen for COVID-19 as well,” Hill said.
Tests are currently still being conducted on larger populations in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, Hill told the AP. A trial consisting of 30,000 people will reportedly begin soon in the United States.