Credit: University of Oxford
University of Oxford scientists have developed a coronavirus vaccine that riggers an immune response.
Early trials involving 1,000 people showed those injected with the vaccine produced anti-bodies and T-cells that can fight Covid-19.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the “world leading scientists” when the news broke.
He posted to Twitter the “very positive news is an important step in the right direction”.
He added: “A huge well done to our brilliant, world-leading scientists and researchers at University of Oxford.
“There are no guarantees, we’re not there yet and further trials will be necessary – but this is an important step in the right direction.”
The results of the trial were published in medical journal The Lancet on Monday.
It reports: “Our preliminary findings show that the candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine given as a single dose was safe and tolerated.”
The British Government has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.
It is being developed by Oxford University in partnership with the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.
The vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a genetically engineered virus.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, of the University of Oxford, said:
“There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise.
“As well as continuing to test our vaccine in phase-three trials, we need to learn more about the virus – for example, we still do not know how strong an immune response we need to provoke to effectively protect against Sars-Cov-2 infection.
“If our vaccine is effective, it is a promising option as these types of vaccine can be manufactured at large scale.
“A successful vaccine against Sars-Cov-2 could be used to prevent infection, disease and death in the whole population, with high-risk populations such as hospital workers and older adults prioritised to receive vaccination.”