Hope for COVID-19 vaccine

There is renewed hope a global COVID-19 vaccine could become mainstream before the end of 2020 thanks to promising results in the UK.

Scientists at Oxford University have conducted early-stage clinical trials of a vaccine called AZD1222 in healthy volunteers. The results have been highly encouraging, producing antibody and T-cell immune reponses with no negative side effects.

British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has been working on the vaccine with the Oxford scientists and the results were published in the The Lancet medical journal.

The testing has shown that AZD1222 was able to combat the infection for up to two months after trials on 1000 people aged 18-55. Oxford professor Andrew Pollard explained how the vaccine worked in a release.

“The immune system has two ways of finding and attacking pathogens — antibody and T cell responses,” he said.

“This vaccine is intended to induce both, so it can attack the virus when it’s circulating in the body, as well as attacking infected cells. We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period.”

This vaccine is not the only one producing promising results, with around 100 being developed around the world – some also delivering encouraging results.

Australian vaccine to commence human trials

The University of Queensland (UQ) is moving closer to human trials on a potential vaccine with volunteers to injected with two doses every four weeks with results to be monitored over a 12 month period of time.

Preliminary results are expected by the end of September and Professor Paul Young said the vaccine could potentially be ready for widespread use in 12 months time.

“This testing showed that the vaccine was effective in the lab in neutralising the virus and safe to give to humans,” he said.

Business and political elite given early access to potential COVID-19 vaccine in Russia

The state-run Gamaleya Institute has been injecting the wealthy and influential with an experimental vaccine since April, it has been reported. The Gamaleya Institute has refused to be identified or comment on the injections.

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