Oxford scientists expect COVID-19 vaccine data by Christmas

Grant Boone
November 19, 2020

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University produces a strong immune response in older adults, data from early trials has shown.

"It would be useful to extend the study to explore immune response in older, frailer subjects living in care homes".

In the peer-reviewed study of the vaccine, healthy adults aged 56 and older showed similar positive immune responses to younger trial participants.

"The research shows that an immune response was generated in all age groups, including in the cohort of participants aged over 70 years", said Michael Head, senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, who was not involved in the trial.

"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".

"As a result, it is crucial that COVID-19 vaccines are tested in this group who are also a priority group for immunisation".

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The Phase III trial of the two-dose vaccination will be carried out in nine hospitals throughout Spain on volunteers both with and without previous health conditions, the AEMPS agency said in a statement.

Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd has also started early phases 1 and 2 human trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, being developed with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and US-based Dynavax Technologies Corp.

Three vaccines - Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik and Moderna - have already reported good preliminary data from phase three trials, with one suggesting 94% of over-65s could be protected from Covid-19. "But we know that they tend to have poorer vaccine responses".

"We hope this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure".

United Kingdom authorities have placed orders for 100 million doses of the vaccine - enough to vaccinate most of the population - should it receive regulatory approval.

The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, feverishness and muscle pain. Now we've got to get the data about the vaccines in front of regulators for them to scrutinize it and approve the first vaccines.

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