Promising news regarding the development of the vaccine against the new coronavirus undertaken by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca were released on Monday (26). According to the institutions, a strong immunological response was detected in elderly people participating in the second phase of testing the substance in the United Kingdom, as well as few adverse effects – which suggests that it is something that could serve different audiences.
Administered to people aged 56 to 69, as well as in groups over 70, according to AstraZeneca, “it is encouraging to see that immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity [effect generation adverse effects] was lower in older adults, in whom the severity of covid-19 is greater “, adding that this is more evidence of the safety of the immunizer, called AZD1222.
More details on the subject should be published in the next few weeks in a scientific journal. In addition, there is no provision for sharing additional information regarding phase 3 of the tests, which is currently underway, even in Brazil, which would show whether the vaccine works well enough for it to be approved.
Hope in sight
The fact that older people have obtained an immune response is positive because their systems weaken with age, which makes them more susceptible to death due to the infection that has killed more than 1 million and 600 thousand worldwide. Considering that the tried solutions have sought to stimulate the generation of antibodies that neutralize Sars-CoV-2 and the T cell response and that both actions were seen in the studies of the substance in question, it is possible to consider that there is a light at the end of tunnel.
In any case, Annelies Wilder-Smith, a professor of infectious diseases emerging at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, remains down to earth, stating that phase 3 trials, which involve large-scale testing with tens of thousands of participants , are a “prerequisite for licensing” before the vaccine can be released to the masses.
“We do not know how effective it is yet. We are looking forward to the results of this part of the research precisely for that,” he told Al Jazeera.