Oxford Covid vaccine prompting immune response in young, old: AstraZeneca

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Clinical trials for the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine ‘Covishield’ are underway in the US, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Japan.

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[REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE] (Photo Credits: Reuters)

Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine candidate prompts an immune response in both young and old adults, AstraZeneca Plc said on Monday. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is collaborating with the University of Oxford for the manufacturing of its ChAdOx1 vaccine for coronavirus.

Earlier on October 22, clinical trials for the University of Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield' resumed globally following a "voluntary pause". Clinical trials for the vaccine candidate are now underway in the US, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Japan.

"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," Reuters quoted an AstraZeneca spokesman as saying on Monday.

Referring to the technical name of the University of Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine candidate, the spokesman went on to add, "The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222."

This development is being received well in the scientific community since it would mean that the vaccine candidate is able to invoke a similar response in both the young and the old. People's immunity weakens with age which is why the vaccine prompting an immune response in older recipients is being taken as a positive sign.

The University of Oxford started working on 'Covishield' in January of this year. Also known as 'AZD1222' or 'ChAdOx1 nCoV-19', the candidate is a viral vector vaccine developed from a weakened version of a common cold virus found in chimpanzees.

The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca have also partnered with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) for the manufacturing of its vaccine. CEO Adar Poonawalla said on October 23 that SII is readying one billion does of five different coronavirus vaccines, including the University of Oxford's Covishield.

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