Oxford Vaccine Leaning Towards Success

A vaccine being developed at Oxford University is said to be 'hugely promising' and is producing an immune response during it's trials. South Africa's Wits University is involved in this very vaccine trial.

Oxford University's vaccine development is looking to be promising as it is said to be safe and producing an immune response. South Africa's Wits University is involving in the trialing of this vaccine.

In Gauteng, two thousand people are currently being enrolled in the trial for this vaccine which will be supervised by Prof. Shabir Madhi, the Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University. These individuals will either be given the vaccine or a placebo. 

From the trials, 1077 people who participated saw the injection result in them producing antibodies and T-cells which have the ability to combat Covid-19. Though this seems promising, it has been said that "it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way".

The vaccine, which is being developed at at outstanding rate, is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. This genetically engineered virus is greatly modified in a way that makes it seem more like Covid-19 and can't cause infections in people. In this way, it seems like the coronavirus in the body and the body can through that know how to attack it. 

Prof Andrew Pollard, from the Oxford research group said, "They're extremely promising and we believe the type of response that may be associated with protection. But the key question everyone wants to know is does the vaccine work, does it offer protection... and we're in a waiting game."

90% of the people involved developed neutralising antibodies after one dose. Ten people were given two doses and they all produced neutralising antibodies. These neutralising antibodies can disable Covid-19 in the body. 

This vaccine is safe but has side effects. However, none of them are dangerous and those who trialed only got a headache or fever which can be managed.

It is predicted that the vaccine will be ready before the end of the year but won't necessarily be available to the wider public just yet. BBC reported, "Health and care workers will be prioritised as will people who are deemed at high risk from Covid-19 due to their age or medical conditions."

The earliest prediction is that the vaccine will be widely available by next year. 

Read the full article by BBC here

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