Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Several scientists in India and abroad say that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has shown promise as it can generate both antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses.
Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Several scientists in India and abroad say that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has shown promise as it can generate both antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses. However, they have cautioned that there was still a long way to go. “Very promising”, “comforting” and “interesting” are some of the reactions for the underdevelopment vaccine from the scientific community. On Monday, The Lancet had revealed that the Coronavirus Vaccine by Oxford was safe and induced a strong immune response following the first phase of human trials.
Coronavirus has till now infected over 14.7 million people across the world and claimed over 6,00,000 lives.
News agency PTI today quoted virologist Upasana Ray as saying that the Oxford-AstraZeneca results are being examined closely. It is “ideal” that the vaccine is able to generate both humoral and cell-mediated immunity.
She explained that humoral immunity is the production of antibodies by the body’s B cells. While antibodies make up the protein component of the immune system, T cells offer vital cell-mediated immunity, she explained.
Ray is a senior scientist at Kolkata’s CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB). She further said that both components are essential to provide effective immunological memory and also for long-term protection.
“The preliminary findings look very promising with responses to the vaccine similar to what is seen post-natural infection,” said Beate Kampmann, professor of paediatric infection and immunity and director of The Vaccine Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“The immune responses to the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine were measured both in terms of quantity and quality of antibody as well as for T cell responses to the spike protein in a subgroup of individuals,” said Kampmann in a statement.
Ian Jones, professor of Virology at the University of Reading in the UK said that the trial participants developed the all-important neutralising antibodies. In most cases after one shot, and in all cases after two shots.
Satyajit Rath, immunologist at National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, said the Oxford vaccine development is interesting and promising in a sense boost with the same vaccine candidate tended to increase antibody levels further despite pre-existing antibodies.
“The vaccine candidate shows no unexpected awful adverse effects,” Rath was quoted as saying by PTI. He added that the formal addition of paracetamol showing some relief from adverse effects without modifying immune responses is useful information too.
Side effects of headache and fatigue were reported by the participants in the study. Commenting on this, experts said they are not a major concern and commonly observed in vaccines. “Such side effects have been seen in other vaccines as well and these subside in a few days’ time. So, as of now, I don’t see these as major points of concern,” said Ray.
Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK said that the results show the desired and expected effects in terms of the immune response and does not have serious adverse effects seen in the numbers recruited so far.