If all goes well, London might receive the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine as early as the first half of 2021. The news arrives, after the vaccine being developed by the researchers at the University of Oxford, showed positive results and a good immune response post administration of the vaccine in both the age groups of young and elderly.
The generation of the response has garnered worldwide attention as a vaccine could mean the probable end to the quarantine life and the kickstart of normalcy.
With the pandemic squeezing out the life of over 1.15 million people, destroying the global economy pushing many countries towards the brink of poverty, snatching the only source of bread and butter from millions of people, and putting a pause on all human activities, the “robust immune response” in people, especially the ones in the later stages of their life, has raised the expectations and hope for a brighter and covid-free future ahead.
Manufacturing in conjunction with AstraZeneca Plc., a British pharmacological company, the vaccine induces lesser side-effects in the older people as well. This refers to a lesser risk of a serious complication or death due to the virus.
“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said on Monday.
“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” he added. AZD1222 is the technical name provided to the vaccine.
This vaccine is likely to be one of the candidates from big shot companies, including the developing vaccine of Pfizer and BioNTech’s, to receive regulatory approval from the WHO.
The vaccine could help in mapping the world out of the disastrous risks and effects of the disease.
As the virus is known to be deadlier for the elderly as they possess a weaker immune system, the fact that the Oxford one has shown a good immune response in them as well is news worth commemorating.
According to the British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, although the vaccine wasn’t ready for public administration as of now, he is in the preparatory phase of transporting the vaccine for all likely by the end of the first half of next year.
On questions of the vaccine being given to at least a few people this year itself, Mr. Hancock said, “I don’t rule that out but that is not my central expectation,” while adding, “The program is progressing well, (but) we’re not there yet.”
AZD1222, which was started to be produced in January by the Oxford scientists, is a viral vector vaccine. It is built with the use of a weakened form of that common cold virus, which causes infections in chimpanzees.
This chimpanzee cold virus was then genetically altered to add the genetic sequence of the spike protein that the coronavirus utilizes to enter the human body cells. This spike protein with the cold virus being in the body already but with a lesser destruction potential will be registered by the body, which starts fighting it.
The vaccine now being rolled out has the hopes that the human body will identify and attack the coronavirus if it encounters it again.
The detailed information regarding the study and its findings are presumed to be included in a clinical journal. However, the name of the publishing house or the publication wasn’t revealed.
People who know about the results of the immunogenicity blood tests done on a division of older volunteers say the findings echo data disclosed in July that showed the vaccine produced “robust immune responses” in a group of healthy adults aged between 18 and 55.
With this, AstraZeneca has got on deals with many suppliers and manufacturing chain units and governments globally as it inches towards reporting the initial results from a late-stage clinical trial.
The Sun newspaper reported on Monday that staff at a London hospital trust (name not revealed) has been motioned to stay ready for the administration of the first batch of the vaccine produced by Oxford/AstraZeneca.