Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trials produce robust immune response in elderly

Henrietta Strickland
October 28, 2020

British pharma giant AstraZeneca said on Monday trials of its coronavirus vaccine pioneered with Oxford University had shown "encouraging" responses among elderly, as well as younger participants.

"After completion of the first and second phase of the trial with demonstrable safety profile and immunogenicity, the large scale efficacy trial involving thousands of volunteers has been planned now", Dr Rao added.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine is one of the most promising and advanced in the world to combat the global pandemic, which has now claimed the lives of 1.1 million people.

"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", an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

But the FT cautioned that positive immunogenicity tests do not guarantee that the vaccine will ultimately prove safe and effective in older people.

Britain's Financial Times newspaper reported that the Oxford vaccine triggers protective antibodies and t-cells in older age groups.

It if works, a vaccine would help the world return to some type of normalcy. It did not name the publication.

He said he expected the roll out to happen in the first half of 2021.

The search for a suitable vaccine for COVID-19 has nearly come to the final stage, Dr E Venkata Rao, Principal Investigator in the COVAXIN human trial and Professor in the department of Community Medicine at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar said on Sunday.

The vaccine is likely to provide protection for about a year, CEO Pascal Soriot said in June.

Speaking about the third phase, Dr E Venkata Rao, Principal Investigator in the Covaxin human trial and Professor in the Department of Community Medicine at IMS and SUM Hospital said that the indigenous vaccine, being developed by ICMR and Bharat Biotech, has received the approval of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for initiating the third phase trial as reported by ANI.

Oxford and AstraZeneca have been trialing their potential vaccine for months in various countries around the world. He said the company expects to file for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in the third week of November, roughly in line with earlier timetables.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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