Oxford Study Confirms Astra Covid Shot's Response in Elderly

Oxford Study Confirms Astra Covid Shot's Response in Elderly”

The phase 3 trial, which an Oxford professor said will "definitely" read out by Christmas, has a more diverse population and will show whether the immune responses translate into fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19. This is an important milestone as this group is considered "high risk" as they are the most vulnerable to the virus which is oftentimes fatal. The data is "another brick in the house that we're trying to build for this vaccine".

In this Thursday, April 23, 2020 file screen grab taken from video issued by Britain's Oxford University, showing a person being injected as part of the first human trials in the United Kingdom to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University in England.

A Chinese vaccine candidate - CoronaVac - appears safe and induces an antibody response in healthy volunteers aged 18 to 59 years in an early-phase randomised clinical trial, say researchers.

AstraZeneca shares were little changed in London trading after rising as much as 1.7% earlier Thursday.

News of the vaccine comes amid a debate in the United Kingdom about whether people will be able to see their families over the Christmas period.

"These so-called memory T-cells after SARS-CoV-2 infection look similar to those after a real flu", said study co-author Dr Maike Hofmann, a scientist at the Department of Medicine II at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg.

During the Phase 2 trial the vaccine has been evaluated in 560 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18-55 years, 56-69 years and aged 70 or over. Older patients have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in those over 60.

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"We were pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well-tolerated in older adults; it also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers".

The Oxford vaccine spurred trial participants' immune systems to find and attack cells infected with the virus, and following a second, booster shot was effective in attacking the virus in the bloodstream, according to the interim results.

Produced by Sinovac Biotech, CoronaVac is one of three experimental COVID-19 vaccines China is testing on hundreds of thousands of people as part of an emergency use programme.

Oxford expects final-stage efficacy results in the coming weeks. It may also be another layer of good news on the vaccine front, since vaccinations typically provide better, longer-lasting protection than natural infections. Neutralizing levels were achieved by 14 days after a boost vaccination in 208 of 209 patients.

The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, manufactured by AstraZeneca, 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and five million of the Moderna vaccine.

These mRNA vaccines can be manufactured quickly but could face more distribution challenges and be slower to distribute than the Oxford vaccine.

"The responsibility of our political leaders is to really build trust with the public", said Horton.

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