‘Oxford vaccine shows robust immune response in older adults’

‘Oxford vaccine shows robust immune response in older adults’

The coronavirus vaccine, being developed by the Oxford University, has triggered “robust immune response” in older adults during clinical trials, raising hopes of shielding the community at highest risk from Covid-19.

During the Phase II trial of the ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 vaccine, volunteers in the trial demonstrated similar neutralising antibody titres, and T cell responses across all the three age groups (18-55, 56-69, and 70+), according to a report published in The Lancet.

The vaccine was tested in 560 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18-55 years, 56-69 years and aged 70 or over. Volunteers received 2 doses of the vaccine. No serious adverse health events were seen in these volunteers. The data was consistent with the Phase I results when the trial was held among healthy adults aged 18-55 early this year.

“Older adults are a priority group for Covid-19 vaccination, because they are at increased risk of severe disease, but we know that they tend to have poorer vaccine responses. We’re pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well tolerated in older adults; it also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers. The next step will be to see if this translates into protection from the disease itself,” said Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, Investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group and Consultant Physician.

For most vaccines, older adults do not exhibit as strong a response as younger adults, and vaccine-induced antibodies commonly display a lower protective capacity.

“Inducing robust immune responses in older adults has been a long-standing challenge in human vaccine research. “To show this vaccine technology is able to induce these responses, in the age group most at risk from severe Covid-19 disease, offers hope that vaccine efficacy will be similar in younger and older adults,” Dr Angela Minassian, Investigator at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases, said.

The Phase III trials of the ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 vaccine are progressing, with early efficacy readings possible in the coming weeks.

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