Scientists at Oxford University claimed in an article published in The Lancet that their experimental COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to elicit a protective immune response in hundreds of people who took the shot, which makes the world feel calm and gratified.
In the moment of pride and a symbol of India’s pharmaceutical progress, Oxford scientists announced that they plan to begin testing the AstraZeneca vaccine in India soon. To further develop, mass-produce and potentially sell the Covid-19 vaccine, the University of Oxford is collaborating with AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom, with plans to carry out the clinical development and production of the Oxford vaccine progressing worldwide.
AstraZeneca has collaborated with 9 companies around the world and promised to produce 2 billion doses once the vaccine is ready to be launched.
Oxford and its partner, AstraZeneca, has been selected the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, to develop and produce vaccines once it is ready.
Dr. Sandy Douglas, who is involved in the production of the vaccine, declared in a press conference while discussing the initial results of the Oxford Jenner vaccine trial, that we are planning to start clinical trials in India. He also admired the efficiency and commitment of the Serum Institute of India.
The Oxford vaccine team has been co-operated with the Serum Institute from the beginning. We are encouraged by provisional phase I and phase II data, which shows that AZD1222 was able to rapidly produce antibodies and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2, Douglas said.
Although there is more work to be done, the Oxford Jenner vaccine is conducting some of its clinical trials in India as well because today’s data boosts our confidence that the vaccine will work and enable us to continue mass production of the vaccine on a large scale with wide and fair access worldwide as planned, said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of research and development at AstraZeneca Biopharmaceutical.
At the same time, the Indian Serum Institute on Monday also announced that it would apply for the license from the Indian DGCI regulator to start clinical trials of vaccine within a week.
Earlier, Pune-based SII had stated that it will begin manufacturing the coronavirus vaccines before the final nod, so that mass production can be made once vaccines get the licenses.
These trials have shown encouraging and effective promising results, and we are really happy about it. We will apply for a license trial to the Indian regulatory agency within a week. Once we get permission, we will start trials of the vaccine in India. Besides this, we will soon begin mass production of the vaccine, CEO of SII, Adar Poonawalla declared.
Oxford Vaccine Research Brings Hope to the World
The primary results of the Oxford vaccine trial are positive and promising, but for its final calibration and production, it still has a long way to go.
The vaccine is capable of generating an antibody and T lymphocyte response in the body, which is what good vaccine experts expect. Antibodies are like gatekeepers and can resist infection into the body, while T cells can detect and resist infection by virus-infected cells.
Similarly, the side effects of the vaccine are not prominent. These may include mild swelling of the arm using the vaccine, mild headaches, and fever. Nothing can be cured by paracetamol. Therefore, it is generally safe and produces the desired immune response.
However, the next step is to find out “the strength of the immune response needed to fight infection”.
The vaccine was given to participants aged 18 to 55 in a randomized controlled trial in the first and second phases of their trials, and the findings are now published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The number of people vaccinated was 1,077, and now in the third phase, 10,000 people will be vaccinated to find out how effective it is.
The team behind the vaccine informed that during the study period, the participants who got the vaccine all had detectable neutralizing antibodies. The researchers believed that this was important for protection, and these reactions were the strongest after the booster dose. 100% of the participants had neutralizing antibodies to the coronavirus. The next level in researching the vaccine is to confirm that it can effectively prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The scientists behind the experiment found that the reaction may be even greater after the second dose.
We saw the strongest immune response in 10 participants who received two doses of the vaccine, which shows that this may be a good strategy for vaccination,” said Professor Andrew Pollard, chief controller of the Oxford vaccine test at the University of Oxford and co-author of the study.
When will the world receive the First COVID-19 Vaccine?
The big question everyone wants to know is when will the vaccine be released?
The Oxford-Jenner team declined to give an exact date but announced that the world is expected to achieve results before the end of this year. But in the first stage, it will be rolled out to the most vulnerable.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute of Oxford University and the co-author of the study stated that these promising results strengthen our ongoing large-scale Phase III program for further access of the candidate vaccine, which still requires an evaluation of the vaccine’s ability to protect people from coronavirus infection.
The government has allocated 84 million pounds to further promote the project, which will help in accelerating vaccine research and development.
Alok Sharma, British Business Secretary stated that today’s results are encouraging, and taking us one step further towards finding a successful vaccine to protect millions of people in the United Kingdom and the world. Supported by £84 million of government investments in vaccine development and production, with the speed and agility, the Oxford University has been working exceptionally. I am extremely happy and proud of what they have accomplished so far.
Chair of the UK Vaccine Working Group, Kate Bingham stated that the UK is fortunate to have such excellent educational innovators working with AstraZeneca’s experienced global team. This partnership is working at an alarming rate and plays a vital role to prove the clinical effectiveness and safety of the Chadox vaccine in protecting people from coronavirus infection.
The UK has already pledged to acquire 190 million doses of different vaccines, including 100 million Oxford vaccine, 30 million Pfizer/BioNtech vaccines, and 60 million Valneva inactivated coronavirus vaccine candidates.