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A senior British official called the latest news on the potential coronavirus vaccine for an Oxford University team "extremely encouraging." Results from the Phase I / II trial of the vaccine being developed by Oxford's Jenner Institute in conjunction with the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca showed that it is safe and that "strong immune results have been produced," according to research published Monday in
The vaccine has caused a 2-pronged immune response, said a news release from Oxford's Jenner Institute. First, it triggered a T-cell response within 14 days, generating white blood cells which can attack infected cells. Second, it provoked an antibody response within 28 days. According to the release, antibodies can prevent the virus from infecting cells when it's initially contracted.
"We saw the strongest immune response in the 10 participants who received two doses of the vaccine, indicating that this could be a good vaccination strategy," said Professor Andrew Pollard, Oxford Vaccine Trial chief investigator at Oxford University and co-author of the study.
Oxford is working with AstraZeneca to develop, produce, and produce a large scale coronavirus vaccine. The unprecedented effort aims at making around 2 billion doses of the vaccine available worldwide by early next year, through partnerships with manufacturers in several countries.
While the latest results are encouraging, they show that the candidate vaccine creates the body's reaction that ought to create immunity to the condition.
The U.S. government has already invested a whopping $1 billion in the trial vaccine for Oxford, gambling on it as a success in securing millions of doses as soon as possible.
Britain has also poured some $90 million into the work of the Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research at Oxford. British government business secretary Alok Sharma on Monday called the latest results of the trial "extremely encouraging, taking us one step closer to finding a successful vaccine to protect millions in the UK and around the world."
Oxford vaccine has been out for months in front of roughly 15 serious global competitors, but a few others are hot on the heels of the team.
Similarly hopeful results from Phase I testing of a vaccine being developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. were announced last week. By the end of July, the experimental vaccine will move to its most important step: A 30,000-person study to prove the shots are effective in stopping coronavirus infection.
The K.U. The vaccine news was published in The Lancet on Monday along with another Chinese vaccine trial study. That vaccine also showed promise, creating a strong antibody and T-cell response in over 90 percent of those given the 28-day injection.