Oxford vaccine ‘safe, helps immune reactions’

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Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine is safe and produced a positive immune reaction, the medical journal The Lancet reported on Monday.

The early-stage human trials involved around 1,077 people with the results showing that the participants produced antibodies and white blood cells that can fight the virus.

Although today’s results were widely welcomed as a positive development, larger trials still need to take place to determine the vaccine’s efficacy.

The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.

Oxford University has teamed up with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce the vaccine.

The vaccine is one of dozens being developed around the world, but Oxford’s is in pole position and by quite some margin.

AstraZeneca is already boosting its manufacturing so that the vaccine can be distributed as widely as possible, if it can be proven to work.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated the team at the University of Oxford through Twitter: “A huge well done to our brilliant, world-leading scientists and researchers at the University of Oxford.”

“There are no guarantees, we’re not there yet & further trials will be necessary – but this is an important step in the right direction,” he added.

The Oxford University study was a major breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus, the Department of Health and Social Care also said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, local media also reported on Monday that the UK has secured early access to 90 million coronavirus vaccine doses from other suppliers as well.

The UK government has ordered 30 million doses of a vaccine being developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. The vaccine is currently in Phase 2 of its trials, and the deal with the British government is the first the two companies have signed with anyone.

The government has also signed an agreement in principle for 60 million doses of another vaccine being developed by Valneva. The agreement also allows the government to buy a further 40 million doses if the vaccine is proven to work. 

* Iclal Turan contributed to this report from Ankara.



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