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Coronavirus: Vaccine of Oxford University Produces a Promising Immune Response

Vaccine of Oxford University

The first phase of the Coronavirus vaccine, developed by Oxford University, was successfully tested. The first test of the vaccine on 1077 people was successful.

The university said those who tested the vaccine had antibodies and leukocytes to fight the coronavirus. The second phase of testing for the vaccine is set to begin soon, Oxford University officials said. The vaccine is named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.More than 10,000 people will take part in the next stage of the trials in the UK.

The results of the first experiments in humans were published in The Lancet Medical Journal. One crore doses of the vaccine have been ordered in the UK. The university is testing the vaccine in collaboration with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus. The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way.

Levels of T-cells peaked 14 days after vaccination and antibody levels peaked after 28 days. The study has not run for long enough to understand how long they may last, the study in the Lancet showed.

There were no dangerous side-effects from taking the vaccine, however, 70% of people on the trial developed either fever or headache.The researchers say this could be managed with paracetamol.

What is the Mechanism Involved

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.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

Antibodies are small proteins made by the immune system that stick onto the surface of viruses. Neutralising antibodies can disable the coronavirus.

T-cells, a type of white blood cell, help co-ordinate the immune system and are able to spot which of the body's cells have been infected and destroy them.Nearly all effective vaccines induce both an antibody and a T-cell response.

However, the trial has also been expanded to other countries because levels of coronavirus are low in the UK, making it hard to know if the vaccine is effective.

It is possible a coronavirus vaccine will be proven effective before the end of the year, however, it will not be widely available.

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