A coronavirus vaccine being developed by scientists at Oxford University has been shown to produce a strong immune response, according to early-stage clinical trials.
British scientists/researchers first began testing the new vaccine in April in about 1,000 people, half of whom were given shots of the experimental vaccine. The vaccine, made from a combination of Covid-19 genetic material and a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees, caused the human body to produce antibodies against the disease and caused a reaction in T-cells, a type of white blood cell that helps prevent infection.
“We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period,” Andrew Pollard, lead author of the Oxford study, said in a statement released by AstraZeneca.
Phase 3 trials of the Oxford vaccine have already begun in Brazil, South Africa and Great Britain, and will soon be expanded to the United States. These trials each involve up to 30,000 volunteers who will help scientists understand whether the experimental vaccine can really prevent people from catching coronavirus and whether it is safe.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted about the latest trial results Monday,
“This is very positive news. A huge well done to our brilliant, world-leading scientists & researchers.”