Oxford COVID-19 vaccine shows ‘strong immune response’ among the elderly

It could be one of the forerunners in the vaccine race.

The vaccine created by Oxford University and AstraZeneca is showing in the early stages a strong immune response in the eldery, with similar responses among younger adults.

The data on the safety and immune responses among those taking part in the phase two vaccine trial has now been submitted for peer review in a medical journal.

The vaccine is currently in a phase three clinical trial, which means the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine is being tested by thousands of participants across a number of different countries.

The findings have been discussed before publication, prompting more excitement about the vaccine.

Experts are predicting the data could be presented to regulators within weeks. 

It comes as the Health Secretary said that the “bulk” of the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine could occur before next summer.

Matt Hancock said that his “central expectation” is that the majority of the rollout of a vaccine could be under way in the first half of 2021.

In a statement, Oxford University said:

“Professor (Andrew) Pollard discussed the early findings of the Phase II safety and immunogenicity trial of the ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 Oxford coronavirus vaccine at a research conference.

“These early results covering trial volunteers from the UK in the 56-69 and 70+ age groups have been submitted to a peer-review journal, and we hope to see their publication in the coming weeks.

“Our ongoing trials will provide further data, but this marks a key milestone and reassures us that the vaccine is safe for use and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system in all adult groups.”

An AstraZeneca spokesperson added:

“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the Covid-19 disease severity is higher.

“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222.”

Earlier on Monday Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that the vaccine programme was “progressing well”.

Asked how soon NHS staff could be injected with a vaccine, he said: “Well, we’re not there yet.

“The vaccine programme is progressing well.

“We’re in very close contact with the leading candidates.

“On my central expectation, I would expect the bulk of the rollout to be in the first half of next year.”

Asked if there could be some this year, he said: “Well, I don’t rule that out, but that is not my central expectation.”

Clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccines are ongoing.

Some have speculated that two vaccine candidates will report data to regulators this year.

More from Oxfordshire News

JACK fm

Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush

JACK 2 Hits

Thong Song by Sisqo

JACK 3 & Chill

Turn Back Time by Aqua