Experts see progress on Oxford Covid vaccine


Scientists at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, who are developing a vaccine for the new coronavirus, have cleared a major hurdle. The first results of a recent animal trial of Oxford University’s promising coronavirus vaccine were released on Wednesday.

The results before printing showed that the vaccine “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19” was effective in preventing damage to the lungs without any sign of immuno-enhanced disease. Six monkeys were infected with a high dose of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19. As on May 13, more than 1,000 volunteers have already participated in the human clinical trials of this vaccine.

Independent experts praised the results and noted that while human clinical trials are already underway, the results of this study are good news.

“The most important finding for me is the combination of considerable efficacy in terms of viral load and consecutive pneumonia, but no evidence of immunocompromised disease, which has been a concern for vaccines in general, for example with vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and for SARS vaccines, “said Professor Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Experts believe that one of the biggest challenges posed by vaccines against coronavirus species is the “potential for improvement of antibody-dependent disease”, which partly explains the lack of vaccine against the CoV strain of 2003 SARS.

“It is useful to see that the monkeys vaccinated with this SARS CoV2 vaccine had no evidence of improved lung disease and that despite some evidence of infection of the upper respiratory tract with SARS COV2 after challenge by a Viruses with a high viral load, monkeys to which the vaccine was administered do not have signs of pneumonia, “said Dr. Penny Ward, visiting professor of pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London.

Although more than 1,000 people have participated in human trials of this vaccine, controlled animal trials are being conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom because it allows researchers to infect subjects with the virus and see if the vaccine works and if there are any signs of side effects.

When asked if the results of the controlled animal tracks would necessarily translate into human test results, Professor Evans replied, “No, we don’t know for sure, that’s why the tests should be, and are underway, done in humans, but that’s encouraging. to see these results and suggests cautious optimism for the Oxford human vaccine trial. “

On the other hand, a negative study result could have produced obstacles in subsequent human trials of the vaccine, but scientists are now hoping for phase 3 human clinical trials. “These results support the ongoing human clinical trial of the vaccine, the results of which are eagerly awaited,” added Dr. Ward.

The vaccine development is led by Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford and director of the Jenner Institute program on new influenza vaccines. The group has partnered with several vaccine manufacturing companies, including the Pune-based Serum Institute of India for mass production of the Covid vaccine. has many useful resources that can help you better understand and protect yourself from the coronavirus pandemic. Read our full guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.


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