Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed promise in the early testing. The initial results officially announced on Monday noted that the vaccine appears to be safe and triggers a welcome immunoresponse.
The Oxford vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has officially been termed as AZD1222. A BBC news reports has said that the vaccine is being developed at an unprecedented speed. Moreover, it added that UK has already ordered its 100 million doses.
The new ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine has been developed from a genetically engineered virus which causes common cold in chimpanzees. Firstly, the virus was massively modified to make it look like coronavirus and also to ensure it does not cause any infections in humans.
Researchers have transferred coronavirus’s tool that it uses to invade human cells, spike protein to their vaccine. Thus, resembling the COVID-19 virus, Oxford vaccine attempts to teach the immune system to learn how to attack the coronavirus.
During the early testing, 1077 individuals among the volunteers who were injected with the vaccine showed a positive response. Vaccine led to the making of antibodies and T-cells in their bodies which can fight coronavirus.
While neutralising antibodies (which stick on to the virus’ surface) disable the coronavirus, T-cells help in spotting the infected cells and destroying them. Thus, the vaccine aims to safeguard people by triggering a dual response from the antibodies and T-cells.
However, despite the promising results, experts have cautioned that it might still be a little early to be too sure. They assert that the results are not yet enough to say it offers complete protection from the novel virus. Thus, to further study its impact and effects, larger trials are under way.
Lead Author of the research, Andrew Pollard said, “We need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for how long any protection lasts.”
The vaccine has been developed through a collaborative effort between the University of Oxford and renowned pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. Notably, the vaccine has not shown any significant side-effects in the trials so far. However, nearly 70 percent of the volunteers reported fever or headache.
When will the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine reach India?
Serum Institutesoon after the news reports announced that it will seek regulatory approvals for clinical trials of the vaccine in India. The institute already has a manufacturing arrangement withAstraZeneca which permits it to produce a billion doses of the vaccine if the Oxford candidate is successful.The Indian vaccine manufactureradded that it will also start to manufacture the vaccine in large volumes in the country.
The success of Oxford vaccine can prove be a huge milestone for humans in our battle against the novel COVID-19 virus. However, some health experts studying the nature of the virus predict that we may need different vaccines for different groups among the populations. Thus, for the time being, it is crucial not to let our guards down and take all necessary precautions to stay safe