Oxford researcher expects coronavirus vaccine results by Christmas: report

An Oxford University researcher expects late-stage clinical trial results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate by Christmas, per reports.

The comments from Professor Andrew Pollard, study lead from the University of Oxford, per the BBC, come amid news on Thursday that the vaccine induced an immune response, including in participants over age 70, per phase 2 trial data. Drugmaker AstraZeneca is working with the university on the vaccine.

From the earlier phase data, researchers found that younger participants experienced side effects like pain at the vaccine’s injection site, fever and muscle ache more often than older adults. More specifically, after two doses, 88% of those aged 18 to 55 had so-called “local reactions,” (redness and swelling at injection site) whereas 61% of participants over 70 experienced these reactions. 

The findings were published on Thursday in The Lancet.

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The ongoing phase 3 trial is assessing the vaccine for its effectiveness, or in other words, whether it can protect people from COVID-19. The phase 3 trial was briefly put on pause before it restarted late last month. 

Pollard reportedly added that there wasn’t “any competition” against other vaccines.

“We will need all of them to protect people around the globe,” he said, per the BBC.

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