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BSI response to phase 3 interim results from Oxford University COVID vaccine trial

23 November 2020

Today, the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, have announced interim data from phase 3 trials of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against COVID-19.

In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement:

Professor Deborah Dunn-Walters, Chair of the British Society for Immunology COVID-19 and Immunology taskforce, and Professor of Immunology at University of Surrey, said:

“Today’s announcement on interim phase 3 trial results of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, are a positive step forward, although we need more data to be able to accurately assess the findings and implications. This vaccine has already been through many carefully monitored stages of clinical trials to assess its safety and effectiveness, with this phase 3 trial being the largest and most in depth of those. During this part of the trial, the Oxford team will have examined lots of different parameters around the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, including the dosing schedule. Intriguingly, the team report a higher efficacy of up to 90% when using a halved first dose and standard second dose and report that the vaccine could be effective in preventing disease transmission as well as disease itself. These are both very promising indications but again, we need to see the complete dataset to analyse the full implications for different sectors of the population. We await the full trial results with anticipation. 

“An additional benefit of this University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is the fact that it can be stored safely at temperatures found in a normal domestic fridge (2-8°C), making global rollout a much easier logistical challenge.

“The researchers working on this vaccine, both in the UK and globally, 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 vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, we must continue to support our research community to maximise our knowledge of this disease. The UK leads the world for the quality of our immunology research and this is another great example of how the community has come together to drive forward scientific discovery into this pandemic.”

Read the full press release from the University of Oxford here.