A NEW coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford is ‘extremely promising’ and the UK has ordered 100million doses.
Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection triggers an immune response which led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus.
The vaccine is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. It has been heavily modified, first so it cannot cause infections in people and also to make it ‘look’ more like coronavirus so the immune system can learn how to attack it.
The study showed 90% of people developed neutralising antibodies after one dose. Only ten people were given two doses and all of them produced neutralising antibodies.
There were no dangerous side-effects from taking the vaccine, however, 70% of people on the trial developed either fever or headache. The researchers say this could be managed with paracetamol.
More than 10,000 people will take part in the next stage of the trials in the UK.
However, the trial has also been expanded to other countries because levels of coronavirus are low in the UK, making it hard to know if the vaccine is effective. There will be a large trial involving 30,000 people in the US as well 2,000 in South Africa and 5,000 in Brazil.
There are also calls to perform "challenge trials" in which vaccinated people are deliberately infected with coronavirus. However, there are ethical concerns due to a lack of treatments.
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