The Covid vaccine being produced by Oxford university in partnership with AsrtroZeneca has been deemed to be safe and is effective in the elderly.
The Covid vaccine being produced by Oxford university in partnership with AsrtroZeneca has been deemed to be safe and is effective in the elderly who are the most likely to become seriously ill or die from the virus according to the developers.
Oxford Covid Vaccine is Safe
There has been more good news in the battle against Covid as Oxford University have said that the preliminary results for their vaccine were “encouraging”. The Government has already ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford Covid vaccine. They have ordered 355 million doses from a variety of manufacturers including 30 million of the Pfizer vaccine and 5 million of the Moderna vaccine.
The phase 2 results published this morning in The Lancet medical journal, gave data on 560 healthy adults, including 240 over the age of 70, focused on safety. The phase 3 results which will reveal the vaccine’s effectiveness are set to be released in a few weeks.
One of the co-authors of the research paper at Oxford, Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, said: “The robust antibody and T-cell responses seen in older people in our study are encouraging. The populations at greatest risk of serious Covid-19 disease include people with existing health conditions and older adults. We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure. 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. The next step will be to see if this translates into protection from the disease itself.”.
Professor Andrew Pollard, the study lead author said: “Immune responses from vaccines are often lessened in older adults because the immune system gradually deteriorates with age, which also leaves older adults more susceptible to infections. As a result, it is crucial that Covid-19 vaccines are tested in this group who are also a priority group for immunisation.”
Professor Sarah Gilbert, the co-author said: “The World Health Organisation has outlined a number of critical factors for Covid-19 vaccines, including that they must be targeted at the most at-risk groups including older adults. They must also be safe, effective in preventing disease and/or transmission, and provide at least six months of protection for people frequently exposed to the virus – such as healthcare workers. Our new study answers some of these questions about protecting older adults, but questions remain about effectiveness and length of protection, and we need to confirm our results in older adults with underlying conditions to ensure that our vaccine protects those most at risk of severe Covid-19 disease.”