In some good news on the COVID-19 front, the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca has shown promising results by triggering an immune response in both the young and the elderly. News agency Reuters reported AstraZeneca as saying that the vaccine was also found to trigger a lower adverse response in the elderly.
“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 told the agency.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – called AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – has been one of the frontrunners in the race to put an end to the novel coronavirus, which has killed over1.15 million people globally, apart from wreaking havoc on economies, and throwing normal life out of gear.
According to reports, this vaccine may reportedly get approval to be administered to medical workers and high-risk patients before the end of this year. A professor leading the project, Adrian Hill, who is also the founder and director of the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute, told Daily Mail that while time is scarce to begin vaccinations before Christmas, it is possible. For the same, Hill said that they were looking to get ‘emergency use’ authorisation that will allow them to administer the drug to those at high-risk.
The vaccine has finished phase 1 and phase 2 of clinical trials and shown promising results. A good immune response in the elderly is promising news because, from the beginning of the pandemic, the elderly have been one of the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19.
British Health Secretary Mart Hancock has said that the vaccine is not yet ready, however, logistics are being put in place for a roll-out in the first half of 2021.