The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford seems to be safe an induces a strong immune response, scientists have announced. They made the conclusion after they got promising results of the first phase of human trials of the vaccine against covid-19 which has unleashed bloodshed across the world, claiming the lives of more than six lakh and infecting over 1.45 crore across the world.
Doses of the vaccine were given to 1,077 healthy adults aged between 18 and 55 in five UK hospitals in April and May as part of the phase one clinical trial and results, published in the ‘Lancet’ medical journal.
The results show they induced strong antibody and T-cell immune responses for up to 56 days after they were given. T-cells are crucial for maintaining protection against the virus for years, a PTI report said.
The findings are seen as promising, but experts feel it is too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection as larger trials get underway.
“There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise,” Professor Sarah Gilbert, co-author of the study, was quoted saying by the report.
“As well as continuing to test our vaccine in phase 3 trials, we need to learn more about the virus – for example, we still do not know how strong an immune response we need to provoke to effectively protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection. If our vaccine is effective, it is a promising option as these types of vaccine can be manufactured at large scale,” she said.
Scientists behind the trials found the response could be even greater after a second dose.
“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,” Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the study, quoted saying by the report.
“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,” he said.
Since emerging in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year, the virus has has killed over 606,000 people and infected more than 14,538,000 people worldwide. In India, the virus has caused 27,497 deaths and infected over 11 lakh people, according to latest official figures.