The Oxford vaccine has come out on top as the most promising against COVID-19 out of the 140 developments that are underway in different clinical states around the world.
The pandemic due to COVID-19 continues at maximum levels at the planetary level and the countries that had managed to flatten the curve are suffering outbreaks of different magnitudes once the compulsory confinement has ended and the protection measures have been relaxed. Doctors and scientists warn of the arrival of a second wave in the short term. And hence the importance of vaccines to definitively overcome the health crisis.
Good news comes about it. A study published last night in The Lancet indicates that the Oxford vaccine has passed level one and two clinical trials with reasonable success in effectiveness and safety. That is, offering an immune response that is expected enough and without serious side effects.
The development was baptized as “Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectorized Vaccine” (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) and has been genetically engineered from a different virus known to cause the common cold in chimpanzees.
The vaccine has been tested in 1,077 healthy volunteers uninfected by the coronavirus and the results are highly promising. The volunteers had antibodies and T lymphocytes, the antivirals produced by the body itself. A small test group was given a second dose resulting in a superior immune response.
As for the side effects and although 70% of test subjects reported mild fever, headache, or fatigue (typical of a common cold and treatable with simple paracetamol), the researchers are confident that these effects can be mitigated in a more advanced version of the vaccine. .
Oxford vaccine, now in phase 3
Stage three clinical trials began in late June with more than 10,000 participants. This testing phase requires raising doses in patients until the anticipated immune response or harmful side effects reach a predetermined threshold.
Once this test has been passed, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 could be approved by the regulators for a fourth phase to compare it with similar treatments. If all goes well, we could possibly see groups of critical workers (eg health workers) receive the first doses later this year.
Deadlines are getting shorter and the first vaccines like this one are well ahead of time for what is usually development times. Alongside the Oxford vaccine, another Chinese development has also been highlighted in The Lancet’s reporting in the lead group. Other vaccines, slower but surely more complete and reliable, would arrive well into 2021. Hopeful news.