Oxford vaccine ‘produces robust immunity’ even in older adults

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19

In more good news on the Covid-19 vaccine development front, the University of Oxford’s candidate (ChAdOx1 nCov-2019) has been shown to trigger a robust immune response in healthy adults and older people.

Phase 3 trials nearly over in India

  • During the phase 2 trial, the vaccine was evaluated in 560 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years, 56 and 69 years and 70 or over
  • No serious adverse health events related to the vaccine were seen. The vaccine is less likely to cause local reactions at the injection site
  • The phase 3 trials are ongoing with early efficacy readings possible in the coming weeks.

Results from phase 2 trials of the product published today in the Lancet suggest that the vaccine offers strong immunity from the disease in people aged 56 to 69 and those over 70 years, one of the groups most vulnerable to serious illness and death from the virus. The older adults are known to be at higher risk from Covid-19 and should be considered to be a priority population for immunisation should any effective vaccine be developed for the disease.

Reporting on data from a phase 2 trial, study authors said volunteers in the trial demonstrated similar neutralising antibodies and immune cell response across all three age groups (18-55, 56-79 and 70+).

The results hold out hopes for India considering Pune-based Serum Institute of India is collaborating on the Oxford vaccine whose ongoing phase 3 trials are nearly over in India.

During the phase 2 trial, the vaccine was evaluated in 560 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18-55 years, 56-69 years and aged 70 or over.

This data is consistent with the phase 1 data reported for healthy adults aged 18-55 early this year.

Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group and Consultant Physician said, “Older adults are a priority group for Covid-19 vaccination, because they are at increased risk of severe disease, but we know that they tend to have poorer vaccine responses. We were pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well tolerated in older adults; it also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers.”

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