Oxford Covid Vaccine Draws Immune Response Among Young, Old: AstraZeneca

Henrietta Brewer
October 26, 2020

In a major development in the preparation of COVID-19 vaccine, Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) and SUM Hospital in Odisha will soon begin the third phase human trial of indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine "Covaxin".

-After completion of the first and second phase of the trial with demonstrable safety profile and immunogenicity, the large-scale efficacy trial involving thousands of volunteers has been planned now, Dr Rao said.

MOSTI and MOH said the government was also concluding negotiations with COVAX, an worldwide initiative led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines, which has nine Covid-19 vaccine candidates under the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI).

The news that older people get an immune response from the vaccine is positive because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said vaccinating health workers was not his "central expectation" though he did not rule it out.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Bengaluru-based Biocon Ltd is hopeful that the vaccine against deadly COVID-19 will be in India by June.

"The programme is progressing well, (but) we're not there yet", Mr Hancock said.

Coronavirus vaccine in India update: The phase 3 human trials of Covaxin would be held in 19 sites across 10 states.

Details of the latest findings are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, the Financial Times reported.

People aware of the results from so-called immunogenicity blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants say the findings echo data released in July. It did not name the publication.

The company expects to resume its trial in the United States on October 26 or October 27 and remains on track to produce data from the trial on the vaccines' effectiveness by the end of 2020 or early 2021, J&J's chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels said.

Pfizer's vaccine is administered in two different doses and falls apart unless it is kept in a deep freeze, meaning that the vaccine will have to be chilled to minus 80 degrees Celsius up to when it is given to people.

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