Scientists argue over whether to infect people in coronavirus vaccine trials

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Meanwhile, Downing Street has been told that there is a 50% chance that a vaccine could be given by next year, but that it is unlikely to provide full protection against the virus. .Instead, the team at the University of Oxford expects the jab to “ease” its worst effects by decreasing the severity of symptoms. The trials found that two-thirds of the recipients developed headaches and one-fifth developed a high temperature, it is understood.

In July, Professor Hill announced that initial trials on 1,077 UK adults showed the Oxford vaccine induces strong antibody and T cell responses, potentially offering a “double defense” against the coronavirus. Antibodies can repel the virus, while T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, help target infected cells.

During testing, 90% of recipients were shown to have developed neutralizing antibodies after a dose of the vaccine, prompting ministers to order 190 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, of which 100 million are the Oxford version. .

Also in July, Professor Hill said he had worked with a US campaign group called “1 Day Sooner” to obtain medical-grade doses of Sars-CoV2, the virus that causes Covid-19, which would be needed to human provocation trials. .

The group is made up of more than 30,000 potential volunteers in 140 countries who say they are ready to participate in challenge studies.

A spokesperson for the University of Oxford said: “We do not plan to test the Oxford vaccine in challenge models at this time as we have extensive international clinical trials to evaluate the Oxford vaccine in a real setting. Challenge studies could be very useful in understanding the biology of the disease and better understanding post-infection immunity, if it can be done safely – and groundwork to think about how these studies might be conducted. safely would be useful for any future study.

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