Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 338

Trials of a vaccine and new drug raise hope of beating covid-19

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 luglio 2020

IN EARLY JANUARY researchers at Oxford University started work on a vaccine for covid-19. At that time the illness was a tiny outbreak without a proper name. Six months on, with more than 600,000 people dead, the Oxford team is leading a race to develop a vaccine that could halt the pandemic. The vaccine has been raced into production around the world by AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish drug company, and billions of doses are planned. But two key questions remain: is it safe and does it work? The first glimmers of the answers have just arrived, with the publication in the Lancet on July 20th of a paper about a trial of the Oxford vaccine, which began in April and involved 1,000 volunteers.According to Adrian Hill, director of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and one of the authors of the paper, the new vaccine stimulated a strong immune response and appears to be well tolerated and safe. It generated both antibodies and “an excellent” T-cell response. Antibodies and T-cells are the two principal arms of the immune system. The former recognise, lock onto and disable pathogens. The latter recognise and kill infected body cells, to stop viruses reproducing inside them. Dr Hill says that the antibody levels seen in the trial are similar to those observed in natural infections and that the T-cell responses are “very high”. They are also, he says, “clearly better” than those from another vaccine being developed by Moderna, an American biotechnology firm. (font: The Economist)

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