Harvard-NPR Panel: Race for the COVID-19 Vaccine : Shots

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A coronavirus vaccine created by a collaboration between drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is showing results that it is safe and triggers a similar immune response among adults of all ages, according to preliminary results of their phase 2 study.

The results are particularly timely as two major trials of vaccines have recently reported strong results with officials hopeful a jab could be administered from early next year.

"In this study, we have been trying to examine the immune responses of older adults and address the question of whether, as you get older, the immune system is less able to respond to the coronavirus vaccine that's being developed here at Oxford", said chief investigator of the study, Professor Andrew Pollard (University of Oxford).

Only 58 per cent of Australians will definitely get a COVID-19 vaccine if it's available, which could force authorities to adopt "proactive measures" to end the pandemic, according to new research.

But rival drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc. have in the past 10 days edged ahead, releasing data from late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials that shows more than 90 per cent efficacy.

Vaccines and other therapeutic medicines that had been given Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organization (WHO), or an equivalent EUA from a "mature" national health regulation agency such as the US FDA or the European Medicines Agency may be given an EUA in the country, he said.

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Ramasamy told The Guardian that the "robust antibody and T-cell responses" they saw in the group of older people were encouraging. "The next step will be to see if this translates into protection from the disease itself", he added. One group of the volunteers was given two treatments of the vaccine, called ChAdOx1.

People are seen at a crowded market amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad, India, November 20, 2020.

It is pertinent to mention here that the matter related to the advance purchases of COVID-19 vaccines was also discussed by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Phase 3 trials are taking place to confirm the findings and test whether the vaccine protects against Covid-19 in a wide range of people including those with underlying health problems.

When data from this stage is sent to the regulators, scrutinised and approved, the vaccine can be given the green light to be used on people worldwide.

"The country is working with all potential vaccine manufacturers, is already signing contracts for the supply of vaccines".

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