There is some hopeful news on the COVID-19 vaccine front. Two vaccines from the UK and China have produced coronavirus-neutralising antibodies in clinical trials.
Both vaccines generated immune responses to the novel virus, according to studies published in The Lancet on Monday.
The UK’s vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, Oxford University and partners cleared Phase 1/2 of its trial and was found to be safe in 1,077 healthy participants.
According to the study, the vaccine, (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) was “safe, tolerated, and immunogenic”.
Adverse reactions observed were mild and could be reduced by taking paracetamol. The vaccine can now move on to phase 2 and 3 trials. The authors said: Older age groups with comorbidities, health-care workers, and those with higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 exposure are being recruited.
The second vaccine is China’s Ad5-vectored vaccine which cleared Phase 2 of its trials and was declared safe in 508 healthy participants.
The trial was conducted at a single centre in Wuhan, China. Healthy adults aged 18 and above were eligible to participate and were randomly assigned to receive two different doses of the vaccine or a placebo.
The authors said: The vaccine at 5×10¹⁰ viral particles is safe, and induced significant immune responses in the majority of recipients after a single immunisation.
Now the vaccine will enter Phase 3 of its trial and be tested on thousands of healthy volunteers.
Phase 3 is often the last stage in the development of the vaccine. After this the vaccine is examined by regulatory authorities before it can be approved for use in the general population.