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BSI response to phase 1/2 results from Oxford University COVID vaccine trial

Syringe needle in bottle20 July 2020

The results of a phase 1/2 single-blind, randomised controlled trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine being developed by researchers at Oxford University have been published in The Lancet today.  

In response, the BSI has released the following statement:

Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, said:

“The initial phase 1/2 results of the Oxford vaccine trial, published in The Lancet today, are promising. The published data indicates that a single dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is well tolerated with no serious adverse side-effects, although those who had the vaccine did report higher initial levels of fatigue and headache than controls, which was successfully treated with paracetamol.

“We are still in the early days of understanding what constitutes an effective long-term immune response against SARS-CoV-2.  This paper shows that the Oxford  vaccine elicited both neutralising antibodies and T-cell immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in the majority of patients after a single dose – this is a good first sign but we still have yet to understand whether these immune responses will have an effect if those individuals encounter the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the future.

“Developing new vaccines is a highly complicated process and success is by no means assured. The Oxford vaccine is only one of more than 150 vaccines against COVID-19 currently under development, 23 of which are in human trials. Although the results of this trial are an important step forward, they are not the end of the story. The researchers still have many more stages to go through before we can confirm that this vaccine is safe and effective for widespread use against SARS-CoV-2.

“The researchers working on this vaccine should be applauded for the monumental effort they have put in to move the science forward at such a fast rate. In the quest to find both vaccines and therapeutics against this novel coronavirus, we need to make sure that we continue to support our research community to maximise our knowledge of this disease."

Read the full paper that this statement is in response to:

Folegatti et al. 2020 Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet