In a major development, scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people, The Associated Press reported.
In a research published on Monday in the journal Lancet, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55.
British researchers first began testing the vaccine in April in about 1,000 people. Such early trials are designed to evaluate safety and see what kind of immune response was provoked, but can’t tell if the vaccine truly protects.
How quickly scientists are able to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness will depend largely on how much more transmission there is, but it is estimated that by end of the year they will be able to decide if the vaccine should be adopted for mass vaccination campaigns.
Oxford’s vaccine is designed to reduce disease and transmission. It uses a harmless virus — a chimpanzee cold virus.
Chinese researchers also published a study on their experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the Lancet on Monday, using a similar technique as the Oxford scientists.