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Oxford COVID-19 vaccine early trial shows positive result
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 20 - 07 - 2020

A coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom in collaboration with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has produced a promising immune response in a large, early-stage human trial, according to newly released data published on Monday in the medical journal The Lancet.
Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus.
The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are underway.
The researchers are calling their experimental vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222).
It is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees.
It has been heavily modified, first so it cannot cause infections in people and also to make it "look" more like coronavirus.
Scientists did this by transferring the genetic instructions for the coronavirus' "spike protein" — the crucial tool it uses to invade our cells — to the vaccine they were developing.
This means the vaccine resembles the coronavirus and the immune system can learn how to attack it.
The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.
"The immune system has two ways of finding and attacking pathogens — antibody and T cell responses," Oxford Professor Andrew Pollard said in a release. "This vaccine is intended to induce both, so it can attack the virus when it's circulating in the body, as well as attacking infected cells. We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period."
The potential vaccine by Oxford is one of at least 100 being developed across the world for coronavirus.
Last week, biotech firm Moderna released data on its potential coronavirus vaccine trial, saying it generated a "robust" immune response. That trial included 45 healthy participants and was run by the National Institutes of Health in the United States.
Earlier this month, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, alongside German drugmaker BioNTech, released positive results from its closely watched early-stage human trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The company said its vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies in all participants who received two of the 10 or 30 microgram doses after 28 days, according to the preliminary data. — Agencies


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