United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Monday said that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford produces an immune response in both old and young adults, Reuters reported.
The vaccine also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly, the pharmaceutical company said. “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity [referring to common side-effects of vaccines] was lower in older adults, where the Covid-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesperson said. “The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222 [technical name of the vaccine].”
The statement is significant as age is considered a principal factor when developing a Covid-19 vaccine, according to The Financial Times. The finding that the AstraZeneca vaccine can trigger T-body cells and antibodies has encouraged researches as they are looking for a cure that would not result in serious diseases or fatalities in the elderly.
The pharmaceutical company, however, did not give details of the findings. It also did not say when the results of the Phase 3 trials would be published that shows the efficacy of the vaccine in large-scale trials to be approved.
Jonathan Ball, professor of virology at the University of Nottingham called the pharmaceutical company’s claims a promising sign. The professor, however, said that it was crucial to know if the vaccine protects against serious diseases.
In July, results of the Phase 1 and 2 trials of the Oxford vaccine published in scientific journal The Lancet indicated that there were no early safety concerns in the vaccine and that it induced “strong immune responses” in both parts of the immune system.
“The vaccine provoked a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted),” the University of Oxford had said in a statement.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 4.29 crore people and killed 11,52,978, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide recoveries crossed 2.88 crore.