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vaccine hopes Oxford Covid-19 vaccine produces an immune response in older people, manufacturers claim


Doses of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine (Sean Elias/University of Oxford)

Doses of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine (Sean Elias/University of Oxford)


Doses of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine (Sean Elias/University of Oxford)

The Oxford Covid-19 vaccine produces an immune response in older people, as well as the young, according to manufacturers of the inoculation.

AstraZeneca Plc have stated that older people receive an immune response from the vaccine.

This claim is a positive given the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.

The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly, the pharmaceutical company has stated.

A company spokesman said: "It’s encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity (vaccine reaction) was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher.

"The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of (vaccine) AZD1222.”

AstraZeneca did not provide statistics on its statement.

The company has not yet announced when it will publish late-stage phase III trial data.

This date will highlight if the vaccine is successful in large scale trials, which could allow for it to be approved.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) yesterday (Monday) released a report on the key aspects regarding the introduction and prioritisation of Covid-19 vaccinations.

These included a “robust disease surveillance system”, studies on effectiveness and impact; active and passive monitoring of adverse events following immunisation, robust and timely vaccination coverage data; evidence-based decision-making; legal and regulatory frameworks for vaccines deployment; and ethical and equitable access to a vaccination.

It also noted there is still a great deal of work regarding ensuring an inoculation is satisfactory.

It stated there is “currently a lack of certainty and knowledge about the characteristics of Covid-19 vaccines that could become available in the EU/EEA and the UK, as well as remaining gaps in the scientific knowledge of the virus and the disease.”

Vaccination plans and strategies would therefore need to be “adapted as more information becomes available,” it added.

“Once vaccines against Covid-19 are available, their supply is likely to be limited, at least initially.

“Supply capacity, both initially and over time, will thus determine vaccine usage and delivery prioritisation.

“Deployment will need to be adjusted accordingly to promptly optimise vaccine allocation and ensure vaccine availability to those most in need.”

The report recommends particular groups are offered access as a priority. These include those at risk of severe Covid-19, including essential workers, vulnerable groups and older people.

The document stated those who are at “increased risk of exposure and onward transmission” such as younger adults and those working in professional settings, should also be considered in priority groups.

According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in a “best-case scenario” the agency would receive clinical data on the most advanced vaccines towards the end of 2020.

Communication strategies would need to be developed, the report explained, “in order to aid acceptability of the vaccine/s and to tackle vaccine hesitancy… Reactive planning is needed for safety scares and public concerns during these campaigns.”

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech's inoculation.

Online Editors

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