Hopes for a coronavirus vaccine this year have been boosted by a reported breakthrough in human trials at Oxford

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  • Scientists believe they made a breakthrough in the first trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine that could offer “double protection” against the virus.
  • Blood samples from a group of 500 volunteers in the UK who received a dose of the vaccine showed both antibodies and T cells, reported The Daily Telegraph.
  • At least 124 anti-coronavirus vaccines are under development, of which at least 10 are tested in humans.
  • Scientists do not yet know whether a vaccine may confer long-term immunity to COVID-19 in a person.
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.

British scientists rushing to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus believe they have made a breakthrough in the first trials of an experimental vaccine that could offer “double protection” against the virus.

Researchers at the University of Oxford began human trials of a coronavirus vaccine in April. Blood samples from a group of 500 volunteers in the UK who received a dose of the vaccine showed both antibodies and T cells, the Daily Telegraph reported this week.

T cells can kill a virus and the cells it has infected, providing an important part of the body’s response to viral infections. The discovery is promising because two recent studies have indicated that antibodies can disappear in a few weeks or months while T cells can stay in the body longer.

A source told the Telegraph that a combination of T cells and antibodies “hopefully will keep people safe.”

At least 124 coronavirus vaccines are under development, of which at least 10 have been tested in humans. But scientists don’t yet know if a vaccine may give someone long-term immunity to COVID-19.

David Carpenter, chairman of the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, which approved the Oxford trial, told the Telegraph that the team was “absolutely on the right track” and that the vaccine – if it worked – could be available from September. .

“Things could go wrong, but the reality is that by working with a large pharmaceutical company, this vaccine could be fairly widely available around September, and that is the kind of goal they are working on,” he said. -he declares.

An Oxford vaccine trial involving 5,000 volunteers is underway in Brazil. The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has agreed to mass produce the vaccine.

The full results of the first trials are expected to be published in The Lancet on Monday, The Telegraph reported.

Matt Hancock, the British Secretary of Health, told Robert Peston of ITV on Wednesday that if the “best case scenario” is a vaccine available this year, it is more likely that a vaccine will be ready by next year .

“We are all working towards the best scenario,” he said. “We are giving AstraZeneca and the Oxford team and the imperial vaccine every possible support. We are working with other potential vaccines worldwide, in America, Germany and the Netherlands.

“We are working with them to make sure that if they turn away first, we will have access to them here. But it is an inaccurate science and it is in danger. “

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