Covid-19: Vaccine by University of Oxford reaches final stage of trials

The University of Oxford, one of the leading contenders in developing a Covid-19 vaccine, has reached the final stage of clinical trials. The experimental vaccine is co-developed with AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company, Livemint reported.

Scientists have already begun the clinical trials of the vaccine in South Africa.

Currently, the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 95 lakh people across the world and over 4.8 lakh patients have succumbed to death due to the deadly contagion. The World Health Organization (WHO) is expecting that the tally would cross one crore mark within next week.

Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand have started the first clinical trial in South Africa. The potential vaccine developed by Oxford is often known as the Oxford Vaccine, as part of the VIDA-Trial that aims to find a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

Serum Institute of India (SII) has also invested $100 million to mass-produce one billion doses for India and other low-and-middle-income countries.

The vaccine is made from a virus called ChAdOx1 — a weakened and non-replicating version of a common cold virus (adenovirus). The vaccine has been developed to contain the multiplication of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in humans. It will be given to 10,260 adults and children in the next stage in the United Kingdom (UK).

“The clinical studies are progressing very well and we are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the vaccine induces immune responses in older adults, and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population,” said Professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, in a statement on Wednesday, as reported by Hindustan Times.

If the final stage gives a positive outcome, the vaccine will hit the market by the end of this year, making it the first vaccine ever-produced to fight Covid-19.

Earlier, the Covid-19 vaccine was tested on monkeys in a small study and had shown some promising results on them.

Other than Oxford’s vaccine, there are 12 other experimental vaccines in clinical trials and another 129 in the preclinical evaluation stage till 22 June, according to the WHO’s draft landscape of Covid-19 vaccines.