The coronavirus vaccine under development by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca “works flawlessly” and boosts immunity, according to a study.
The prestigious university team is believed to be leading the way to produce a safe vaccine.
⚠️ Read our live coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates
In early trials, it was shown to safely elicit an immune response in volunteers, according to the study.
Usually vaccines use a weakened virus, or small amounts of it, but Oxford’s innovative jab makes the body become part of the virus itself.
Researchers led by the University of Bristol have now discovered that this new technique works for the coronavirus.
The study used cells in the lab and found that the vaccine provides instructions for the Covid protein, which cells then copy thousands of times to produce it in large quantities.
Because of this, a person’s immune system is then set up to recognize the disease and fight it off without the person getting sick.
“STRONG IMMUNE RESPONSE”
Dr David Matthews, of Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM), who led the research, said: “So far, technology has not been able to provide answers with such clarity, but now we know the vaccine does it all. we expected and this is only good news in our fight against the disease.
Sarah Gilbert, who heads the Oxford University vaccine trial, said: “The study confirms that large amounts of the coronavirus spike protein are produced with great precision, which largely explains the vaccine success in inducing a strong immune response. ”
While the results are encouraging, the vaccine is still in phase three trials and must be fully tested and approved by health watchdogs before it can be deployed to the general public.
Last week, UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the NHS was preparing to launch the AstraZeneca vaccine shortly after Christmas.
Professor Van-Tam told MPs last week that the vaccine’s third-stage trials mean a mass deployment could take place as early as December.
Another drug giant – Pfizer – is also creating Covid vaccines that could be available by the New Year.
A video of tiny vials of the drug coming off the production line was shared.
And last weekend, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) predicted that a Covid-19 vaccine will be ready in the spring.
Professor Jeremy Farrar said the UK is set to have a ‘tough’ Christmas this year, but a vaccine would be a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he said: “Christmas will be tough this year. I don’t think it will be the usual holiday and all the families will come together, I’m afraid.
“I think we have to be honest and realistic and say that we are three to six months away from a very, very difficult time.
“The temperatures are dropping, we’re all indoors more often, we have the other infections that occur this time of year.
“It’s better for us to be frank and honest now, and say we’re going through a really tough time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. ”
However, there were some issues with the Oxford trials.
DEATH OF VOLUNTEERING
A volunteer in the trials, Dr João Pedro Feitosa died of complications from the coronavirus while participating in the jab tests.
It is believed that the doctor did not receive the vaccine, but was one of the guinea pigs given a benign placebo.
Last month, an Oxford vaccine volunteer recounted how he suffered from fever and chills 14 hours after receiving the Covid cure.
The anonymous volunteer said he woke up in the first hours of frost but with a temperature over 39 ° C after receiving the blow.
“I felt incredibly weak and couldn’t really get up and move, so my partner had to get me some paracetamol,” he said.
“The temperature continued for about a day, and I felt really weak and lethargic and I really couldn’t do anything. ”
The volunteer revelation came days after AstraZeneca suspended vaccine trial studies after a British participant was admitted to hospital with a suspected neurological disorder.
Researchers have suspended crucial research to allow them to investigate exactly what happened to the trial participant.
However, the UK trial resumed two days later.
So far, 18,000 people have received the AZD1222 vaccine as part of the trial, which is taking place in the United States, South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
50,000 participants are expected to participate worldwide in phase three trials – usually the last step before it can be approved for large-scale deployment.
The vaccine is believed to be the world’s best hope for stopping the respiratory disease that has killed more than a million people worldwide.
In the UK, the government this month changed the law to increase the number of healthcare professionals able to administer the vaccine.
Parents’ concerns over 40-year-old student arriving at school after moving to UK
Stranger grabbed 7-year-old girl from terrified mother on London street and fled
Cops called to Amir Khan’s house after explosion ahead of new reality show
Father who beat baby to death for crying jailed for just 15 years
Rishi invests £ 8bn on new leave by paying more wages to save pubs and restaurants
New regulations will allow pharmacists, dentists, midwives and paramedics to immunize the public.
The first vaccines would be administered to the elderly and vulnerable, and the vaccination of those most at risk would take several months.
Professor Van-Tam said: “Vaccines are being developed at a rate which, if successful, will save lives.”