While the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread and take lives all over the world, methods are being developed to fight against the epidemic. In the field of vaccine, which is the most effective of these methods, there were promising developments at Oxford University.
The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford turned out to be safe and trigger the immune response. Trials on 1,077 humans have shown that the injection produces antibodies and T cells that can fight the coronavirus.
Although the findings obtained after the studies are very promising, it is too early to say whether this will provide adequate protection against coronavirus. More comprehensive vaccination tests are on the way.
What is known about the vaccine
The vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and developed at an extraordinary rate, was obtained from the genetically modified virus that caused a cold in chimpanzees. The virus, which has been modified to resemble coronavirus, does not cause infection in humans.
Scientists carried out this process by transferring the genetic structures of the ‘spike protein’ used by the coronavirus to occupy our cells into the vaccine they developed. So the vaccine looks like coronavirus and learns how to attack the immune system when injected into the body.
So what are antibodies and T cells? Antibodies are small proteins produced by the immune system and attach to the surface of the virus. Neutralizing antibodies can neutralize the coronavirus. T cells, the type of white blood cell, help coordinate the immune system. They can also detect and destroy which cells in the body are infected.
In the trials, the level of T cells reached the peak 14 days after the vaccine and the level of the antibodies 28 days after the vaccine. It is not yet known how long they can survive because the work done is not long enough. In the study carried out, 90% of people developed neutralizing antibodies after a dose. This process increased to 2 doses in only 10 people.
Of course, when it comes to vaccination, it comes to people’s mind whether it is safe at first. According to the news in the BBC, the vaccine is safe. But there are side effects. In 70% of the people who participated in the test, fever and headache were observed after vaccination, but they are not dangerous and can be overcome with ‘paracetamol’ according to researchers.
Professor of Oxford University. “There is a lot of work to be done before our vaccine can cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, but the first results are promising,” said Sarah Gilbert about the vaccine. Developments are continuing to ensure that the vaccine is fully available. The next tests will include 10,000 people from the UK, but large-scale tests will be carried out with 30,000 people from the United States and 5,000 from South Africa to measure 5,000 people from Brazil to measure the vaccine’s overall efficiency.
It is quite likely that a coronavirus vaccine is proven to be efficient before the end of this year, but that does not mean that it is suitable for broad use. Authority will be given to healthcare professionals to determine who is at high risk of COVID-19. It is stated that a wide-ranging vaccine will be available next year if everything goes according to plan.
Of course, vaccination studies are carried out in many countries of the world and Oxford is not the first institution to come to this stage. Similar findings were found in vaccine studies in the USA and China before.