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Oxford Uni Covid-19 vaccine: Initial research shows promising results

Early results show no safety concerns and that the vaccine induces a strong immune response.

Results from the Phase I/II trial, published in the Lancet, show that the vaccine proved a T cell response within 14 days (a cell crucial in attacking infected Covid cells) and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies stop neutralise the virus and stop it infecting further cells).

Those participating in the study who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies which were strongest after a booster dose, with 100% of participants blood having neutralising activity against the virus.

Now the team from the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group will study the vaccine to confirm it can effectively protect against Sars-Cov-2 infection.

“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,” says Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the study.

“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,” Professor Pollard continues.

The local team began testing in the City in April after starting work on a vaccine in January 2020.

More than 1,000 health adult volunteers aged between 18 and 55 have taken part in the randomised controlled trial.

The Uni is working with biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for further development.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s results are extremely encouraging, taking us one step closer to finding a successful vaccine to protect millions in the UK and across the world. Backed by £84 million Government investment for the vaccine’s development and manufacture, the agility and speed with which the University of Oxford have been working is outstanding. I am very proud of what they have achieved so far.

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