Government exploring modalities of emergency authorisation of COVID-19 vaccine

Oxford COVID Vaccine Safe, Effective, Especially in Older Adults

Earlier this week, two American drug-makers announced that their separate COVID-19 vaccine candidates were 95 percent effective against the disease.

The phase 2 trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine included 560 healthy adults, including 240 older than 70.

In a week of good news regarding the effectiveness of several of the coronavirus vaccine projects, such as Pfizer and Moderna's, today the magazine The Lancet published that the second phase of clinical testing of the formula from the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is safe in healthy elderly people and provokes an immune response close to 99 percent.

Dr. Andrew Pollard leads the University of Oxford study.

Both low and standard doses of the vaccine triggered responses in both parts of the immune system.

From the earlier phase data, researchers found that younger participants experienced side effects like pain at the vaccine's injection site, fever and muscle ache more often than older adults.

The longevity of the vaccines' immunity are also up for debate.

Sinopharm's chairman, Liu Jingzhen, told the local news media on Tuesday that only a few people had reported mild symptoms from one of its vaccines, and that no one had suffered serious adverse reactions.

The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has already manufactured millions of doses of the vaccine that is being developed in collaboration with Oxford University while results from late-stage trials are awaited. Phase 3 trials are now underway to determine the vaccine's effectiveness against the disease.

"I think the reason we are so delighted is that the immune responses look exactly the same, even in those over 70 years of age". Pollard said he expects to release all data from the Phase 3 study by late December.

Pollard said there was "no competition" with other vaccines. The program so far includes three vaccine candidates for essential workers and high-risk individuals, although clinical studies have not yet proved the vaccines' safety and efficacy, according to Reuters.

While waiting for the full result of Stage 3 human clinical trial, the United Kingdom government has already ordered 100 million doses.

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