Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine safe for older adults, results show

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows promise with the elderly

Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Producing Strong Immune Response In Elderly

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Early trials have shown that a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University is producing a strong immune response in elderly subjects, Sky News reported.

The phase 2 trial saw 560 participants, 240 of whom were over 70, split into groups that received either one or two doses of the vaccine, or a placebo.

The T-cell response - another measure of how well the immune system responds - peaked two weeks after the first dose of the vaccine, regardless of age.

Dr. Andrew Pollard says scientists expect to report results from the late-stage trials of their COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas.

"The populations at greatest risk of serious COVID-19 disease include people with existing health conditions and older adults", Ramasamy said.

Researchers said Phase 3 trials are ongoing to confirm the findings and to test whether the shot protects against infection in a broad range of people, including those with underlying medical conditions.

These data are consistent with the Phase I data reported for healthy adults aged 18-55 early this year.

British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is working in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has previously said interim data showed their experimental vaccine had produced an immune response in older and younger adults.

"We were pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well tolerated in older adults, but also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers", said Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, an investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group.

"As of Oct 26, 2020, 13 serious adverse events occurred during the study period, none of which were considered to be related to either study vaccine".

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Wednesday a final analysis found their vaccine candidate was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 and appeared to fend off severe disease.

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