Since the start of the pandemic, scientists, and experts from all over the world started working hard to find a solution to this tragedy. Now, their efforts are finally coming to fruition as oxford announces the positive reaction granted by their new vaccine. Thus, the world is now starting to see the light at the end of this long and scary tunnel.
Till now, the epidemic was caused death for more than 600,000 people globally while single-handedly crushing the world’s global economy. Thus, the world health organization stated that once discovered, the vaccine must be made available to everyone.
What is AZD1222?
As one of the 150 developing vaccines, the AZD1222 is now taking the lead in the global vaccine race. Scientists adapted the vaccine first from a common cold virus found in chimpanzees. Then, they spiked it with glycoprotein which is a new genetic material extracted from the new coronavirus.
The vaccine relays on the modified virus as a means to give instructions to the human cells. These instructions, when delivered successfully, will provoke an immune reaction that will fight the novel coronavirus.
Thus, as research advanced human trials began. Between April and May, almost 1,077 healthy male and female adult subjects took part in trials. The subjects were between the age of 18 and 55. Moreover, researchers have conducted the trials in the randomized and controlled Phase I and II which took place in 5 different UK centers.
Each of the participants took one dose of the vaccine. Research conductors then observed then for any compilation. Then after 28 days, they gave 10 of the participants a second dose.
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The obtained results
During the first phase of the trials, the vaccine worked on inducing the so-called neutralizing antibodies. Such antibodies are the ones that stop the virus from infecting other cells and spreading through the body.
When studied, scientists concluded that the obtained levels are on par with the antibodies produced by people who had survived a COVID-19 infection. Thus, oxford researchers were certain that they were on the right path.
However, Oxford lead researcher Sarah Gilbert informed the public that the trials didn’t specify whether one or two doses are needed to strengthen our immunity. The reason behind her statement is that though 91% of the recipients obtained the wanted results from one dose, others needed two.
The vaccine also induces the body in a way to makes it form T cells. Thus, the vaccine activates a very vital last stand of the immune response.
Before the start of the vaccine’s production, the world health organization as well as the government need to approve it. However, to get the green pass, the vaccine has to go through an extra 3 to 4 stages. In a way, provoking an immune reaction is only the first step of a very long path in vaccine development.
First, they need to start with phase 3 trials. These trials are already taking place in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil. They are meant to determine the amount of dosage needed for prevention as well the amount of protection vaccinated people will have when actually exposed to the coronavirus. Moreover, the late trials are also going to take place in the United States where prevalence is higher than in other countries.
They also need to observe the reaction of the new vaccine on old people as well as children. A demographic which wasn’t included in the early trials. Furthermore, the vaccine is still facing other complications. Thus, the next six months will probably determine the effectiveness as well as the safety of the vaccine.
Furthermore, AstraZeneca has already signed an agreement with the world’s governments to supply the vaccine should it get approved. The deals cover the production and supply of more than two billion doses of the shot around the globe.
In brief, the COVID-19 era might be finally coming close to an end. Hopefully, for the sake of the world, the oxford vaccine succeeds within the next few months. the world needs good news in these tiring times.
Al Jazeera. (2020, July 21). Oxford coronavirus vaccine: Five things to know. News | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/oxford-coronavirus-vaccine-200721053730053.htmlDEFINE_ME. (2020). The Lancet. https://secure.jbs.elsevierhealth.com/action/cookieAbsent?code=nullGallagher, J. (2020, July 20). Oxford coronavirus vaccine triggers an immune response. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-53469839New study reveals the Oxford coronavirus vaccine produces strong immune response | University of Oxford. (2020, July 20). The University of Oxford. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-07-20-new-study-reveals-oxford-coronavirus-vaccine-produces-strong-immune-responseott. (2020). Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial results “extremely encouraging,” the U.K. government says. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-vaccine-oxford-university-jenner-institute-trial-results-encouraging/