Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response

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Oxford University.  The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles for the war against Covid 19, especially the vaccines.

Source: BBC

A coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford appears safe and triggers an immune response.

Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus.

The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way.

The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine – called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – is being developed at unprecedented speed.

It is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees.

It has been heavily modified, first so it cannot cause infections in people and also to make it “look” more like coronavirus.

Scientists did this by transferring the genetic instructions for the coronavirus’s “spike protein” – the crucial tool it uses to invade our cells – to the vaccine they were developing.

This means the vaccine resembles the coronavirus and the immune system can learn how to attack it.

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In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.

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Categories: The Muslim Times, Vaccine

3 replies

  1. (Bloomberg) — AstraZeneca Plc fell from a record high in New York trading after data for the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, though promising, fueled concerns about whether it can match competitors.

    Bernstein analysts led by Ronny Gal said the vaccine, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, showed early positive data, but the benefits didn’t appear to match the bar set by programs from Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech SE, as well as Moderna Inc.

    “In the competitive context they fail to impress,” Gal wrote.

    Exacerbating concerns, the Lancet medical journal publication came just an hour after Pfizer and BioNtech had announced early positive data from their Covid-19 vaccine trial in Germany, which builds upon promising results from their program earlier this month.

    U.S. listed shares of AstraZeneca fell as much as 5.7% — the biggest intraday decline since March — bringing the stock’s year-to-date gain to 19%. Moderna, which is among biotech’s hottest stocks, was also down as much as 18% as JPMorgan downgraded its rating to the equivalent of a hold.

  2. Interim results from the ongoing Phase I/II COV001 trial, led by Oxford University, showed AZD1222 was tolerated and generated robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all evaluated participants.

    COV001 is a blinded, multi-centre, randomised controlled Phase I/II trial with 1,077 healthy adult participants, aged 18-55 years. It assessed a single dose of AZD1222 against a comparator meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY. Ten participants also received two doses of AZD1222 one month apart.

    The results published in The Lancet confirmed a single dose of AZD1222 resulted in a four-fold increase in antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein in 95% of participants one month after injection. In all participants, a T-cell response was induced, peaking by day 14, and maintained two months after injection.

    Neutralising activity against SARS-CoV-2 (as assessed by the MNA80 assay) was seen in 91% of participants one month after vaccination and in 100% of participants who received a second dose. The levels of neutralising antibodies seen in participants receiving either one or two doses were in a similar range to those seen in convalescent COVID-19 patients. Strong correlations were observed across neutralisation assays.

    The early safety responses confirmed that transient local and systemic reactions were common in the AZD1222 group and were comparable to previous trials and other adenoviral vector vaccines.1-4 They included temporary injection site pain and tenderness, mild-to-moderate headache, fatigue, chills, feverishness, malaise and muscle ache. No serious adverse events were reported with AZD1222, and reactions were lessened with the use of prophylactic paracetamol, a pain killer, and occurred less frequently after a second dose.

    Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the trial, said: “The interim Phase I/II data for our coronavirus vaccine shows that the vaccine did not lead to any unexpected reactions and had a similar safety profile to previous vaccines of this type. The immune responses observed following vaccination are in line with what we expect will be associated with protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although we must continue with our rigorous clinical trial programme to confirm this. We saw the strongest immune response in participants who received two doses of the vaccine, indicating that this might be a good strategy for vaccination.”

  3. The results seem compelling. T-cell response began to grow in those receiving the vaccine and peaked at day 14, while neutralising antibodies were found in 91 per cent of the participants 28 days after vaccination. The booster group had a far greater immune response.

    It also seems the vaccine is safe. There were no serious adverse reactions, and side-effects were confined to fatigue, headaches, pain at the injection site, and temporary flu-like symptoms including muscle ache, malaise, chills, feeling feverish, and high temperature.

    The trial showed that taking paracetamol could allay most of the effects without impacting the efficacy of the vaccine.

    The team now needs to find out if the vaccine actually prevents people from developing Covid-19, or at least serious conditions. A phase three trial is underway to test just that, and more than 10,000 people have so far been vaccinated.

    There are also new arms to find out if the jab is safe for elderly people and those with comorbidities. So far only healthy people have tested the vaccine, but it is arguably the vulnerable and old who will benefit most, so it must be safe for those groups.

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