Covid-19: Oxford College vaccine is very efficient

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By James Gallagher
Health and Science Correspondent

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Image rightsOxford University / John CairnsImage descriptionThe Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is currently in the final testing phase *: not ([hidden]): not (style) ~ *: not ([hidden]): not (style) {margin-top: 1rem;}]]>

The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University is highly effective in preventing people from developing Covid-19 symptoms, a large study shows.

Interim results suggest a 70% protection, but the researchers say that by adjusting the dose, the figure can go up to 90%.

The results are considered a triumph, but come after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed 95% protection.

However, the Oxford Jab is far cheaper and easier to store and take to any corner of the world than the other two.

Hence, the vaccine will play an important role in fighting the pandemic once it is approved for regulatory use.

“Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to the time we can use vaccines to end the destruction we have caused [the virus]”said the architect of the vaccine, Prof. Sarah Gilbert.

  • Oxford Vaccine: How Did They Make It So Fast?

The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and AstraZeneca says it will make three billion doses for the world next year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “incredibly exciting news” and, while security checks are still pending, “the results are fantastic”.

Media signatureAstraZeneca boss Mene Pangalos says the Covid vaccine is “clearly effective”.

What did the process show?

The vaccine was developed in about 10 months, a process that typically takes a decade.

There are two results from the study of more than 20,000 volunteers in the UK and Brazil.

In total, there have been 30 cases of Covid in people who had two doses of the vaccine and 101 cases in people who received a sham injection. The researchers said it worked at 70% protection, which is better than the seasonal flu shot.

Prof. Andrew Pollard, the study’s lead investigator, said he was “very pleased” with the results as “it means we have a vaccine for the world”.

However, when an analysis of around 3,000 people given a first half-size dose and a second full-size dose, the protection was 90%.

Prof. Pollard said the finding was “fascinating” and meant “we had many more doses to hand out”.

The analysis also found that fewer people became infected without developing symptoms that are still believed to be able to spread the virus.

Media signatureCoronavirus Vaccine: How Close Are You To One?

When will I get a vaccine?

Four million doses of the Oxford vaccine are ready to use in the UK. However, nothing can happen until the vaccine has been approved by regulatory agencies who rate the vaccine’s safety, effectiveness, and effectiveness to a high standard. This process will take place in the coming weeks.

It is also unclear who will receive this vaccine or the other government-ordered vaccines.

However, the UK is preparing to press the start button on an unprecedented mass vaccination campaign that dwarfs either annual flu or child vaccination programs.

Nursing home residents and employees come first, followed by health care workers and those over 80. It is planned to then work through the age groups.

How does it work?

It uses a completely different approach to vaccines than Pfizer and Moderna, which inject patients with part of the virus’ genetic code.

The Oxford vaccine is a genetically engineered cold virus that infected chimpanzees.

It was changed to prevent it from causing infection in humans and to carry the blueprints for part of the coronavirus known as spike protein.

Once these blueprints are in the body, they start producing the coronavirus spike protein, which the immune system recognizes as a threat and tries to crush it.

Image rightsAFP

If the immune system really does come into contact with the virus, it now knows what to do.

Why is the low dose better?

There is no easy answer.

One idea is that the immune system will reject the vaccine, built around a cold virus, if given in too large a starting dose.

Or a lower than a high shot may better mimic a coronavirus infection and lead to a better immune response.

Are the results disappointing?

After Pfizer and Moderna both made vaccines that offer 95% protection from Covid-19, a figure of 70% is still highly effective, but is viewed by some as relatively disappointing.

However, this is still a vaccine that can save lives from Covid-19 and is more effective than a seasonal flu shot.

It also has distinct advantages that make it easy to use. It can be stored at refrigerator temperature, which means that unlike the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which need to be stored at much colder temperatures, it can be distributed anywhere in the world.

The Oxford vaccine costs far less than Pfizer’s (around £ 15) or Moderna (£ 25) vaccines at around £ 3.

Image descriptionElisa Granato was one of the volunteers who received the Oxford vaccine

What difference will this make for my life?

We’ve been waiting for a vaccine all year long, and lockdowns took time to get it.

However, it is still a daunting challenge to make enough vaccines and then immunize tens of millions of people in the UK and billions around the world.

Life is not going to return to normal tomorrow, but the situation could improve dramatically as the most vulnerable are protected.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that we would be “a little closer to normal” by the summer, but “until we can get this vaccine we must all take care of each other”.

What was the reaction like?

Professor Peter Horby of Oxford University, who was not involved in the study, said: “This is very welcome news. We can see the end of the tunnel clearly now. There have been no Covid hospitalizations or deaths in people who have taken the Oxford vaccine. “”

Dr. Stephen Griffin of the University of Leeds said, “This is some more excellent news that should be considered extremely exciting. It has great potential to spread around the world and have tremendous public health benefits.”

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