The first human results for a coronavirus vaccine being developed by scientists at Oxford University appears safe and produces an immune response.
Trials for the vaccine – named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19- involved 1,077 people and showed that the injection led to participants making T-cells and antibodies which can fight coronavirus. Although it is still too early to know if the vaccine offers enough protection, the UK has already made an order for 100 million doses.
The study showed 90% of people developed neutralising antibodies after one dose, while responses were even greater to a sub-group study of 10 participants who were given a second dose.
Speaking on the new findings, Professor Andrew Pollard from the Oxford research group told the BBC: “We’re really pleased with the results published today as we’re seeing both neutralizing antibodies and T-cells.
“They’re extremely promising and we believe the type of response that may be associated with protection.
“But the key question everyone wants to know is does the vaccine work, dose it offer protection… and we’re in a waiting game.”
No dangerous side-effects were reported from participants taking the vaccine but 70% of people on the trial did develop a fever or headache.
In the next stage of the trials in the UK, more than 10,000 people will take part. There will also be a much larger trial involving 30,000 people in the United States, 5,000 people in Brazil and 2,000 people in South Africa.