The world is currently in a race to develop an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Multiple coronavirus vaccine trials were carried out and two of them proved to be successful recently. A vaccine produced by Oxford University showed good results which marks the possibility of its efficacy against Covid-19.
The vaccines are currently in the early stages of trials. These trials will only determine if the vaccine is safe to use. Also, the researchers will measure the required dosage in these trials. However, the results collected so far show that the vaccine produces immunity similar to the coronavirus.
The research paper regarding this vaccine trial was published in the journal The Lancet.
Currently, the researchers are testing out 17 possible vaccines under the coronavirus vaccine trials. The recently tested vaccine of Oxford University produces effective immunity in the candidates. Astra Zeneca collaborated with Oxford University to produce the vaccine AZD-1222. The scientists tested this vaccine on above 1,000 healthy participants for almost 2 months.
The vaccine is now given to 10 more participants which significantly increased their immunity. Also, this coronavirus vaccine trial shows that it has no significant side effects so far. Half patients in this trial received the coronavirus vaccine while the rest of the participants got the meningitis vaccine dose.
Both the vaccines caused some side effects in the volunteers but the coronavirus vaccine had relatively minor side effects. However, the drug acetaminophen helped reduce the side effects in the patients.
This leads to the next coronavirus vaccine trial that will include 10,000 volunteers in the UK. The US trials will include 30,000 volunteers. The trials will also take place in South Africa and Brazil and both will include 7,000 participants. This next stage will test the vaccine in terms of its efficacy. The vaccine group of Oxford suggested that the vaccine will come to markets by September in case everything goes right.
The CEO of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot said that he expects at least 50,000 individuals will receive coronavirus vaccine within this year. However, the availability of vaccines depends on a successful trial. He said that they require a higher infection rate to confirm the efficacy of this vaccine.
The vaccine produced by Oxford and AstraZeneca consists of a weakened cold virus from a chimpanzee. This virus carries the vector from the coronavirus into the body of the patient. Thus, it triggers the immune response of the person against the coronavirus.
Nearly 35 participants developed antibodies against the coronavirus after a month of receiving the vaccine dose. These antibodies will protect against the virus in case of a future infection. However, none of these volunteers had an actual coronavirus infection. Hence, scientists are not sure about the efficacy of this vaccine.
Most of the participants showed signs of fatigue after they received the shot. However, the side effects appeared less in those who received another shot of the coronavirus vaccine. The further trials of the vaccine will constitute older people with weak immune responses. The researchers are also looking forward to conducting the coronavirus vaccine trial on a larger scale to confirm its efficacy.