İrem UZUN -TDO- Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot. "We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody," said Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University.
The vaccine - called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 - is being developed at unprecedented speed. It is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. It has been heavily modified, so it cannot cause infections in people. Scientists did this by transferring the genetic instructions for the coronavirus's "spike protein" - the crucial tool it uses to invade our cells - to the vaccine they were developing. This means the vaccine resembles the coronavirus and the immune system can learn how to attack it. There were no dangerous side-effects from taking the vaccine, however, 70% of people on the trial developed either fever or headache.
The next stage of trials in Britain will involve 10,000 people. In the U.S., 30,000 people will take part. And in Brazil and South Africa, about 7,000 people will test the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. If everything goes to plan, the vaccine could be rolled out widely by early next year, according to the Oxford Vaccine Group. “Our hope is we can start delivering vaccine before the end of the year,” Pascal Soriot, CEO of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said. How soon, he said, depends on the infection rate in places where their studies are underway. Trials need enough people to become infected in order to see whether their candidate vaccine is effective.