A Covid-19 vaccine by September? Oxford researchers optimistic
LONDON: Scientists at the institution are hopeful that their vaccine will produce both an antibody and T-cell response.
The race for a successful vaccine to protect against Covid-19 could soon have a winner with a number of companies and countries announcing that they either have one ready or are on the brink of finding one.
Few have drummed up as much excitement as the joint Oxford University-AstraZeneca potential vaccine, known as AZD1222.
Scientists working on the project told the British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, that their vaccine had provoked both antibody and T-cell responses to the coronavirus in human test subjects. Both are crucial to achieving immunity to disease.
Sources told the outlet that a tentative date for mass roll out of the vaccine was possible as early as September.
Researchers believe the vaccine has around an 80 percent effectiveness in preventing severe illness developing among those infected.
Vaccines must go through a three stage testing process before they are approved for use with the Oxford project currently drawing its Phase I stage to a close, and well into its Phase III process. Data on the Phase I stage will be made available on July 20 for study by other researchers.
The University of Oxford has partnered with pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca, to roll out billions of doses on a not-for-profit basis.
It is thought that initial recipients could be at risk groups, such as the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases, as well as frontline health workers.
While the Oxford project appears to be a front runner, there are more than 100 vaccine projects ongoing globally.
US pharmaceutical firm Moderna has reported preliminary positive results for its vaccine, and hopes for approval for roll out by the end of the year.
Both projects have been supported financially by their respective governments.
Countries, such as Russia and China, have also reported positive results from their vaccine development programmes but data has not been made public.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases is nearing 14 million globally with more than 587,000 officially recorded deaths.
The countries worst hit include the US, Brazil, and the UK, with breakouts of the disease on the ascendant in several other states.
Globally, governments have had to balance the lockdown measures needed to stymie the spread of the illness with the need to keep economies functioning.
Courtesy: (TRT World)