KOLKATA (India) — The novel coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was found to elicit a strong immune response in older adults, even at 70-years-old and over.
As per the report of the phase-two study published in The Lancet, Thursday, it found the jab dubbed ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’ enacted a robust immune response in healthy adults aged 18-55, 56-69, and 70 and over.
This is a particularly promising outcome from the Oxford Covid vaccine since it is covering a wide range of ages, with similar efficacy, experts are opining.
The findings were based on a trial on 560 healthy adults who received the experimental dose by Oxford.
It was found the specific vaccine appeared to be “better tolerated in older adults than in younger adults and has similar immunogenicity across all age groups after a booster dose.”
Volunteers were given either a two-shot dose of the Oxford vaccine or a placebo meningitis vaccine. Two weeks after the first dose, the T-cell response (a measure of the immune response) peaked regardless of age.
“The next step will be to see if this translates into protection from the disease itself,” Dr. Maheshi Ramasamy, an investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group told the BBC.
Turned out, the immune response in those who received the experimental Oxford Covid vaccine was consistent with the Phase 1 clinical trial conducted earlier that showed adults aged 18-55 were immune after the jab.
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The findings were hailed as ‘encouraging’ by experts and come at a time when the world has got at least four vaccine candidates in Russia’s Sputnik V, USA’s Pfizer x BioNTech, and Moderna Inc’s which had given a glimmer of hope for the end of the pandemic.
Both Moderna Inc., and Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines, based on a never-before-approved nRNA-based technology, have proven to be highly effective in large-scale Phase III trials, achieving up to 95 percent efficacy.
Both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccine candidate has shown robust immunity response in older adults — a very crucial parameter to determine the efficacy of a vaccine since the older population is the most vulnerable form the disease.
Prof Andrew Pollard, of the University of Oxford who led the study told the BBC he was “absolutely delighted with the results” showing a strong immune response “even in those over 70 years of age”.
Older people tend to have a weakened immune system and this makes them more susceptible to fall seriously, or fatally ill from the likes of viral infections like COVID-19.
The report from Oxford’s Phase II clinical trial published in The Lancet is peer-reviewed, meaning that the vaccine can without any doubt protect the older population.
Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine follows the traditional, time-tested route to immunology — the adenovirus, which is based on a weakened version of the common cold virus from Chimpanzees.
As per reports, the UK government has already secured 100 million doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca. Millions of doses have also been ordered from other leading candidates including Moderna Inc. and India’s Serum Institute.