A COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed by the University of Oxford appears to be safe to use and also seems to trigger a response from the bodies immune system.
Trials of the vaccine, which involved 1,077 people, have shown that the much-needed and highly anticipated vaccine prompts the human body to make the antibodies and white blood cells which are capable of fighting the virus.
Despite the promising results, it is still too soon to know if the vaccine is enough to immunise vast numbers of people.
The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine as more extensive trials now get underway.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Group Lead of the Oxford University Vaccine Group, told Sky News that vaccine has a profile that is ‘very similar’ to other vaccines.
Professor Pollard also said that the trial had caused ‘strong immune responses’ in the volunteers which they think ‘may be associated with protection’.
But he added that ‘we must keep going with the clinical trials to really establish whether or not we can prevent the disease in our population with this strong immune response’.
When asked about side effects, Prof Pollard said that some people have flu-like symptoms, but that there were ‘no significant concerning side effects’.
Prof Pollard confirmed that 10,000 people around the world were now involved in the later stage trials, following on from the successful trials of the vaccine which involved 1,077 volunteers.
He added that the vaccine developed by the University had prompted the ‘neutralising antibodies’ – the antibodies which prevent the virus from infecting cells.
Prof Pollard also told Sky News that their vaccine also prompted the body to generate ‘T-cells’ which are the body’s white blood cells which can recognise any of the body’s cells which get infected with the virus before the body’s immune system destroys them.
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