With the daily spike in number of recorded confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths globally, now at 16, 424, 021 to 652, 332 deaths recorded worldwide, the world is in dire need for a solution amid the crippling coronavirus pandemic.
Many researchers have donned on their hats, amongst which is the University of Oxford. Showing promising result and raising hopes in more recent times, is the coronavirus vaccine the school developed which currently appears safe and triggers an immune response.
Here’s what you should know:
- Trials were conducted involving 1,077 people, results showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus. Although findings at the moment are really promising, it is still too soon to draw conclusion on if it can offer protection. Larger trials are under way to determine its effectiveness. The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, BBC reports.
- How the vaccine works
The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, developed from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees has been heavily modified: preventing it from causing infections in people and also making it “look” more like coronavirus.
In essence, the vaccine resembles the coronavirus and provokes the immune system to recognise and fight the virus.
- Although the accelerated pace of development has been a cause of worry with people raising concern if all necessary protocols were observed , Prof Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told the BBC the rigorous safety processes included in all clinical trials were in place.
- The trial is currently in its third phase, with thousands more volunteers taking part. All participants will be monitored for side-effects.
Although safe, the vaccines come with side-effects – although no dangerous side-effects were discovered. About, 70% of people on the trial developed either fever or headache which researchers say could be managed with paracetamol.
- More than 10,000 people are set to take part in the next stage of the trials in the UK. 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. the site reports.
Next steps in the trial?
Although results so far are promising, much work still need be done to ascertain if the vaccine is safe enough to give to people. No results from the study at present can show whether the vaccine can either prevent people from becoming ill or even lessen their symptoms of Covid-19.
Prof Sarah Gilbert, from the University of Oxford, UK, says: “There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise.”
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