Chinese, British, American Covid-19 Vaccines Show Promising Results

SRINAGAR: More than 630 thousand deaths after, there is a glimmer of hope that a vaccine may be around by this fall. Oxford University in London and Sinovac Biotech in China have their vaccine candidates at advanced stages of trial and at least one of them has shown promising results, reports appearing in the global media said.

The Oxford Vaccine

The British candidate vaccine named AZD-1222 is a joint collaboration between Oxford University and drug company AstraZeneca. Its use in 1000 adults led to a “strong immune responses for nearly two months”. The second dose to 10 patients showed immune response boosting.

‘We do not know which strain of the mutating virus is active right now’

“We’re really pleased that it seems to be behaving just as we thought it would do. We have quite a lot of experience of using this technology to make other vaccines, so we knew what we expected to see, and that’s what we have seen,” Prof Sarah Gilbert, at the Oxford’s Jenner Institute, was quoted saying by the Guardian.

The University published a study involving more than 1,000 healthy volunteers – half of which had the vaccine while the other half were given a meningitis vaccine – in the Lancet medical journal. “The effect of the vaccine was measured by the amount of antibodies and T-cells it generates in the blood of the volunteers – not in any response to the virus itself.”

Now the large scale trials of the candidate vaccine are underway in Brazil and South Africa. Almost 10,000 Britons, 30,000 Americans and 7000 people Brazil and South Africa will be administered the shot of the candidate vaccine in the third stage of the trial.

Trials In India Too

The candidate vaccine will also be tested in India in people and the pharma giant’s local partner has applied for the licence. Adar Poonawalla, chief of the Pune Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is the partner. “We will be applying for the licensure trials to the Indian regulator in a week’s time,” he was quoted saying by the PTI. “As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India. In addition, we will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes.”

‘We Need To Prepare Ourselves For The Worst’

“We are seeing exactly the sort of immune responses we were hoping for, including neutralising antibodies and T-cell responses, which, at least from what we’ve seen in the animal studies, seem to be those that are associated with protection,” the study’s lead author, Prof Andrew Pollard, was quoted saying. However, he had a caveat. “We just don’t know what level is needed if you meet this virus in the wild, to provide protection, so we need to do the clinical trials and to work that out.” He termed results “encouraging” but only the “first milestone on this long path”.


The newspaper quoted Gilbert saying that the vaccine is delivered through an inactivated chimp adenovirus, similar to one that causes the common cold in humans. Now the concern is if the immune systems “recognise and reject the adenovirus in people given booster jabs”. The other aspect of the trials is that it has not been tried for any age group beyond 55 years.

The real issue in making a vaccine for Covid-19 virus is to ensure that its spike protein is impacted. “The vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, which belongs to a category called non-replicating viral vector vaccines, tries to build the body’s immunity against this spike protein,” The Indian Express reported. “The idea is to create antibodies to fight this spiked surface so that the virus does not even have the chance to penetrate the cells.”

Companies are running against time to create a vaccine for the deadly virus. Right now, more than 200 vaccine candidates are at different levels of trails. There are 17 candidate vaccines being tested in people around the world, right now. The countries are racing to place orders, UK has indicates it would require 90 million shots of the vaccine once it is approved.

4 Vaccines At Advanced Stage

Right now, according to The USA Today, there are four vaccines at advanced stages of trails. Two of them were tested in the USA. “Early-stage trials explore only safety and dosing and cannot determine a vaccine’s effectiveness, but signs indicate that all four candidate vaccines are leading to immune responses similar to those experienced by people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” The USA Today reported.

Being Covid-19 Positive

Last week, American pharmaceutical company Moderna, published results of its vaccine candidate which it is developing in alliance with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). It is an mRNA vaccine. “The data it released in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 14 showed similar abilities to induce antibody and neutralising antibodies, as well as some T-cell response,” The Indian Express reported. “Moderna is expected to begin its phase III trials on July 27.”

The Chinese Vaccine

There is a Chinese candidate vaccine also and The Lancet featured the research linked to it as well. It has been tested in more than 500 people including a few who were above 55 years of age. “The goal of the study was to evaluate the immune response and safety of the vaccine and determine a dose that would be used in a larger Phase 3 trial,” the American media organisation reported. “The Chinese vaccine candidate works almost the same way as the Oxford-Astra Zeneca one, but it uses a weakened version of the human common cold virus – rather than a chimp virus – to deliver the SARS-CoV-2 protein. Half of the trial participants were already immune to the human cold virus, which is expected to limit the vaccine’s effectiveness.”

Corona Carnage?

The US Today reported: “Academic researchers who specialize in vaccine development said Monday that both studies are promising, but they’re waiting for more results before declaring victory over COVID-19.”

The candidate vaccines are being reviewed at a time when AIIMS has started first human trial on an indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin. AIIMS officials told media the first set of data will be available after three months

WHO Happy

“It is good news,” Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program told reporters at Geneva after The Lancet publication. “In generating T-cell responses and generating neutralizing antibodies, this is a positive result. But again, there is a long way to go. We now need to move into larger-scale real-world trials.”

There are more than 130 vaccines under various stages of testing across the world. It is a race against time between the biggies in pharma sector in the US, Russia, China and the UK. The Moscow State Medical University has claimed it will launch the first vaccine in August. Its researchers said they have successfully completed clinical trials for the vaccine in two phases.

Worried Warriors

China wherefrom the virus emerged has a vaccine candidate called CanSino that is the only one that has reached the third stage of human trials. The first dose was given to 15,000 registered volunteers in Abu Dhabi.


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