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Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine Triggers Immune Response, Trial Shows

Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine Triggers Immune Response, Trial Shows

Hopes for a vaccine to address the global spread of coronavirus have been raised after Oxford University’s experimental version was revealed to be safe and to generate a strong immune response in the people who volunteered to help trial it.

 

After intensive research, Prof Sarah Gilbert, from Oxford’s Jenner Institute, said they were more than happy with the first results, which showed good immunity after a single dose of vaccine.

 

“We’re really pleased that it seems to be behaving just as we thought it would do. We have quite a lot of experience of using this technology to make other vaccines, so we knew what we expected to see, and that’s what we have seen,” she told the Guardian.

 

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, called the results “very positive news”, adding: “There are no guarantees, we’re not there yet and further trials will be necessary – but this is an important step in the right direction.”

 

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “Very encouraging news. We have already ordered 100 million doses of this vaccine, should it succeed.”

 

Gilbert and her colleagues, who once said they could have a vaccine by September, will not predict when it might be available. “None of us have a crystal ball,” she said. The lockdown that began in the UK in late March drastically cut the amount of coronavirus in circulation, which saved lives but also made it difficult to trial vaccines.

 

The results published on Monday of a study involving more than 1,000 healthy volunteers – half of which had the vaccine while the other half were given a meningitis vaccine – in the Lancet medical journal are preliminary. The effect of the vaccine was measured by the amount of antibodies and T-cells it generates in the blood of the volunteers – not in any response to the virus itself.

 

Large-scale trials have begun in Brazil and South Africa, however, where infection rates are still high and it will be possible to assess whether vaccinated individuals are less likely to get Covid-19 than others.

 

Source: The Guardian

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