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COVID-19 vaccines could be available soon as tests in US, UK look promising

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2020. 3:11 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Medical and scientific teams are hopeful an effective COVID-19 vaccine may soon be available as experiments in the United States and United Kingdom has showed promising results in their early phases.

According to UK newspaper, The Daily Mail, teams from Oxford University and the American pharmaceutical company Moderna have disclosed that participants in their studies have displayed signs of immunity.

Oxford scientists say they are 80 percent confident they can have their vaccine ready by September. Participants being given the Oxford vaccine have been developing antibodies and white blood cells called T cells which will help their bodies fight off the virus if they get infected, the scientists say.

The vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking it’s infected with COVID-19 and causing it to produce immune substances that have the ability to destroy it.

Oxford’s phase 3 trial is involving around 8,000 people across the UK and also up to 6,000 people in Brazil and South Africa, where the vaccine may be easier to test because more people are infected with the coronavirus.

The vaccine is being manufactured by AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge, England, and millions of doses have already been ordered by Number 10 in the hope that it will work.

In the early stages researchers will want to see that the jab is safe for people to take and doesn’t cause serious side effects, and also that it seems to be stimulating the immune system in the right way.

If it passes these checkpoints researchers are expected to move on to even larger tests with thousands more members of the public.

US company Moderna also announced that its vaccine passed all those early tests and now plans to move on to bigger trials.

Researchers at the company last night announced that all 45 volunteers in its early phase had developed immune responses after being given the vaccine.

They also found the jab — one of the front-runners in the global coronavirus vaccine race — was safe and no participants suffered any serious side effects.

But more than half reported mild or moderate reactions such as fatigue, headache, chills, muscle aches or pain at the injection site.

Scientists said side effects were a ‘small price to pay’ for protection against Covid-19.


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