Nov 19, 2020 - Health

Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trials show strong immune response

CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Nash shows a small vial from the AstraZeneca vaccine.

CSL chief scientific officer Andrew Nash with a small vial to go into the bioreactor to create 30 ml doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Nov. 8 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

A COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca is safe and produces strong immune responses in older people, per preliminary findings of a phase two trial published Thursday in The Lancet.

Why it matters: Coronavirus cases are soaring in the U.S. and across the world. The findings from the study of 560 healthy adults, including 240 people aged over 70, follow Pfizer's announcement Wednesday that its vaccine is 95% effective and Moderna's data released Monday showing its version has a 94.5% vaccination success rate.

Of note: The study authors found the vaccine had few side effects and that "volunteers in the trial demonstrate similar neutralising antibody titres, and T cell responses across all three age groups (18–55, 56–79, and 70+)."

What they're saying: Angela Minassian, an investigator at the University of Oxford, said in a statement, "Inducing robust immune responses in older adults has been a long-standing challenge.

  • "To show this vaccine technology is able to induce these responses, in the age group most at risk from severe COVID-19 disease, offers hope that vaccine efficacy will be similar in younger and older adult."

What's next: The results of phase three trials of the vaccine to determine its efficacy, which are ongoing, are expected in the coming weeks.

Read the findings, via DocumentCloud:

Flashback: World-leading Oxford coronavirus vaccine produces immune response

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