Oxford COVID Vaccine Safe, Effective, Especially in Older Adults

The manufacturers of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have said that it produced fewer side effects in people aged 56 and over in phase 2 trial results.

Late-stage, or phase-three, trials are ongoing to confirm the findings, researchers said, and to test whether the vaccine protects against infection with SARS-CoV-2 in a broad range of people, including people with underlying health conditions.

Results of those trials should definitely be known by Christmas, the Oxford Vaccine Group's director, Andrew Pollard, said, adding it was too early to know whether and how well the vaccine works in preventing COVID-19 disease.

Indian may consider giving emergency authorisation to Pune-based Serum Institute to make its COVID-19 vaccine available for immunisation in India if the country of origin of the vaccine - United Kingdom - approves such a request made by its global license holder AstraZeneca for marketing approval of the Oxford University vaccine developed in the UK. The vaccine is now undergoing a three phase clinical trial overseas with 60,000 participants.

Serum third stage testThe Serum Institute of India is now conducting Phase III trials of the Oxford-Astrogenica vaccine, while Bharat Biotech and ICMR have begun Phase III trials of indigenously developed covicin.

The race for the coronavirus vaccine has picked up pace in recent weeks with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna announcing the results of phase 3 trials.

But rival drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc have in the past 10 days edged ahead, releasing data from late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials that shows more than 90% efficacy.

Oxford University will start an initial analysis of data from its late-stage trial after 53 infections among its volunteers, the study's chief investigator said on Thursday.

Essential workers and other groups vulnerable to the virus have been included in the program, which was launched in July, with three COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The researchers said that two doses of CoronaVac at different concentrations and using different dosing schedules had goof tolerance and moderately immunogenic in healthy adults aged between 18-59 years.

So far, the Brazilian federal government's main bet is on a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC, with which it has already signed a supply contract.

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