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Coronavirus Vaccine Update: Hopes Rise for Oxford Vaccine

 2020 may end on a positive note, after all the gloom and doom we’ve been subject to over the last few months. In an effort to thwart the raging coronavirus, work on many experimental vaccines was launched across the world a few months back to protect people against COVID-19. Among these, AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1, is currently being touted as the frontrunner.
Developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, the trails for the vaccine began earlier this year and reports suggest that it may be launched by early 2021.
That, however, isn’t the only good news. In the latest update, it has been revealed that the Oxford vaccine produces an immune response in older adults as well as the young. The developers also said that the vaccine triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly.
Oxford Vaccine, trials
“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said.
“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222 (the technical name of the vaccine)”. 

Oxford vaccine’s safe immune response is good news for the elderly

corona vaccine, senior

An effective vaccine is being seen as a game-changer in the war against the coronavirus, which has already affected millions of people worldwide and shattered the global economy. The news that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine produces an immune response among the elderly is extremely encouraging as the virus is known to affect older people severely. The immune system weakens with age and so does the body’s ability to fight off any virus. The elderly have hence been at most risk from the deadly coronavirus.

If the vaccine does indeed work, it could allow the world some breathing space and give us a chance to return to some normalcy. Most importantly, it will keep our elders safe. While the vaccine isn’t completely ready, it is expected to be rolled out mostly in the first half of 2021.

The data from the early trials showing the positive effects of the vaccine haven’t yet been released but are being submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Furthermore, AstraZeneca confirmed that the basic findings of the vaccine have been shared at a closed academic meeting.

The data from the trials have also shown that fewer side-effects were reported in the older volunteers. Referred to by the scientists as “reactogenicity”, the news of a lesser number of these side-effects among seniors is another positive sign as we look forward to getting the vaccine in the near future.

What is the status of other COVID-19 vaccine candidates? 

Oxford Vaccine,  COVID-19 vaccine candidates

While the news of the safe immune response from the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is indeed encouraging, we will still have to wait and watch how things unfold in the next few months. Developing an effective vaccine involves a complicated procedure and a lot could still go wrong. Many experts doubt whether the first vaccines will be fully protective. They feel that these vaccines may lower the intensity of illness but not last and people would then need the help of boosters.

See Also: Watch To Know What It Takes To Develop a New Vaccine

That being said, there is still hope as apart from the Oxford vaccine, trials for coronavirus vaccines are currently taking place in many other countries as well. American pharma major Pfizer is developing a coronavirus vaccine along with BioNTech and is in the third stage of its trials right now. The experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by CanSino Biological Inc. and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology was the first in the world to get a go-ahead for military use and is also in the third stage of its trails. Russia’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, is under phase three trials as well but the authorities are already testing the virus on over 40,000 people. Furthermore, Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen unit has started work on phase three clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine while American biotechnology company Moderna has completed enrolment of phase three of its COVID-19 vaccine.

These are all positive signs and there are good reasons to believe that by the first half of 2021, some potent vaccine against the novel coronavirus should be ready. Here’s hoping that things go smoothly in this regard in the next few months and the world gets some relief against the rampaging coronavirus that it so desperately needs.

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