Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Prompts Immune Response in Older Adults

In a new development, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced that the COVID-19 vaccine it was developing, produces immune responses in both young people and older adults.  The vaccine is being developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford. This was announced by the company on Monday.

The news has raised hopes of the many that a solution to the current pandemic is in the sight. The pandemic has as of today infected more than 43 million people in the world and killed 1.15 million people as well. In its wake it has also left devasted economies and consequences.

The oxford vaccine has also shown to not produces many adverse events in adult populations, which are especially predisposed to severe coronavirus cases.  Older adults have especially been on the bad side of tis pandemic and many have lost families to coronavirus infections.

“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” said a spokesperson. “The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222.” AZD1222 is the technical name of the vaccine being developed by oxford and AstraZeneca.

Right now, the company has not provided any data related to this development. Scientific community is eagerly waiting for this new data from late-stage phase-three trial data. This data will show if the vaccine is indeed effective in curbing a coronavirus infection in people.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer are expected to be the first companies to receive regulatory approval for their respective vaccine candidates.

As the world fights this deadly pandemic while losing the adult populations disproportionality to this disease, the news that older people get an immune response from the vaccine is extremely positive.

While Trump promised the first coronavirus vaccine by election day on November 2020 (which is nowhere in sight), the British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a vaccine was not yet ready. However, Hancock explained that the government was preparing for a possible roll-out mostly in the first half of 2021.

The oxford university first started to work on a coronavirus vaccine in January. The candidate referred to as AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.

The virus from chimpanzee’s common cold is genetically modified to add so-called spike protein the coronavirus uses to gain entry to human cells. The idea is that when human immune system sees the novel coronavirus it will produce an immune response.

Stage three human trials are crucial before any vaccine is given approval for widespread use. In this stage wide-scale testing on tens of thousands of participants is done to see its efficacy and potential side effects.

The initial trials for the oxford coronavirus vaccine, published its results in the medical journal The Lancet. The studies showed that the vaccine produced a robust immune response in healthy adults between 18 to 55 years of age. No serious side effects were reported.

It is important to mention here that AstraZeneca has signed several supply and manufacturing deals with governments around the world and companies as well.

The company also halted its coronavirus vaccine trials previously, after reports of a mysterious illness in test subject emerged. It was later revealed that the illness was an independent event and not linked to the vaccine. it resulted in the company restarting its coronavirus vaccine trials in United States after gaining approval from US regulators. This was announced by the company on Friday.

The country is aiming to distribute 2 billion doses of the vaccine in the world by the end of 2021.

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