(PatrioticPost.com)- One coronavirus vaccine is showing signs of promise.
Developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, the vaccine has shown signs of inducing an immune response and is so far safe, according to a report in The Lancet, a medical journal.
Published Monday, the report comes from results from early clinical trials of the drug. The trial didn’t evaluate whether the drug prevents someone from actually being infected with coronavirus, though. That aspect of the vaccine will be discovered in trials that are currently going on.
The early trial results were promising, though, in that they showed two “strong” immune responses. The vaccine showed signs of producing T cells and COVID-19 antibodies. Antibodies are produced by the body in response to a specific virus so it can recognize the virus in the system again and fight it off a second time. T cells, meanwhile, are responsible for identifying infected cells and then attacking and killing those cells.
As the director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, Adrian Hill, said:
We’re getting both sides of the immune system stimulated, and that is fairly unusual for vaccines.”
While he was not involved in this particular vaccine research, Dr. William Schaffner, one of the infectious disease experts at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the results were “good news — another step forward on the long road.
Even the World Health Organization was happy with the results. The executive director of the health emergencies program at the WHO, Dr. Mike Ryan, said:
“This is a positive result. There is a long way to go. These are phase 1 studies. We now need to move into larger-scale, real-world trials.”
This stage of the trial at Oxford included 1,077 people participating. All of the participants were between the ages of 18 and 55. Ten of the participants also received a booster shot that occurred 28 days after the initial vaccine dose.
Among the most common side effects, participants listed headache and fatigue.
Trial results showed that T cell response happened within two weeks of receiving the vaccine’s first dose. Levels of antibodies in the system peaked approximately four weeks after the first dose. They also lasted for 56 days. It’s not sure at this point how long immunity to COVID-19 would last with this vaccine.
Phase 3 of the clinical trials for the Oxford vaccine will help determine whether the drug will protest against infection of the coronavirus. That stage of trials is ongoing now in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. Future trials are also planned for the United States and other parts of the world.
This is important, as Hill said:
“We want to look at the efficacy of the vaccine in different populations.”
This particular vaccine was derived from a weakened form of adenovirus, which is a common cold virus. That is then modified genetically so it carries instructions for cells to make this coronavirus’ “spike protein.” The thinking is that if a drug can help human cells make the protein, then the human immune system will be able to learn to identify it and protect against infection.