Monday, August 10, 2020

Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine human trial shows more confidence, researchers say

The whole world is praying for a vaccine that helps to resolve the ongoing problem of the pandemic. Scientists from every part of the world are engaged in developing medicine or a vaccine that is immensely needed. Currently, there are about 124 COVID-19 vaccines, contributed by different countries at various stages of development, and 10 of them are being tested in humans.

Researchers from Oxford University, UK, have developed a vaccine named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, which is based on a weakened version of the common cold that causes infection in chimpanzees. It has a spike protein that is similar to SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the infection. They started with a human trial and successfully gave a dose to volunteers in April. Blood analysis of these vaccinated people showed that the vaccine stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and T cells. B cells are responsible for producing the antibodies, while the T cells play a role in supporting the development of the B cell response and is most important for any viral infection.

There are some studies in recent times reported that these antibodies may disappear within weeks or months, while T cells may circulate even for years. Hence, the results given by UK researchers are the most promising because their vaccine might offer “double defense” against the virus. But it is not sure that this vaccine provides long-term immunity to COVID-19. The Lancet medical journal has said that it would be publishing the early-human trial data from the Oxford team on Monday.

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David Carpenter, the chair of the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, has approved the Oxford vaccine by saying that it was absolutely on track. If everything goes well, the vaccine will be available to the public around September. Also, at present, the Oxford vaccine is delivered to the 5,000 volunteers in Brazil. Mass production of vaccines will be undertaken by a pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The best-case scenario is making the most expected vaccine available by this year. Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, said that they were working with other potential vaccines in the world with America, Germany, and the Netherlands. With everyone’s support, we could soon make a successful vaccine to eradicate the virus and also the suffering of people.

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Source: Business Insider

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