COVID: Oxford vaccine well tolerated, shields elderly

Results of stage 2 trials published in The Lancet

(ANSA) - ROME, 19 NOV - The COVID vaccine being developed by Oxford University with the help of AstraZeneca and Italy's IRBM is well tolerated, above all in the elderly, and induces an immune protection similar to that seen in young adults, according to stage two trials published in The Lancet on Thursday.
    The second phase trials were conducted on 560 healthy adults, 240 of them over the age of 70.
    Researchers will have to wait for the results of stage three trials to say whether the vaccine protects against infection by SarsCov2, the article said.
    That stag of trials is still ongoing.
    Some results of stage three testing were published early in the non-scientific press.
    Oxford University said the next step was to verify the duration of the protection afforded by the vaccine.
    Project coordinator Andrew Pollard said it was crucial to test the vaccine on the elderly, who must have priority in any future vaccination.
    Sarah Gilbert, co-author of The Lancet study, said it was vital to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine in elderly patients with other pathologies.
    Italy is starting phase three of trials of the new COVID vaccine.
    Tests will start at Modena hospital and university, with the first inoculations beginning on December 1.
    Cristina Mussini, head of Modena's infectious disease centre and university researcher, said they hoped to have the vaccine by April next year.
    Piero Di Lorenzo, the president of the IRBM Pomezia centre that is working with Oxford University on the vaccine for Astra Zeneca, has said that the first doses could be ready even earlier, by the end of December.
    AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Cambridge and its R&D concentrated in three strategic centres: Cambridge, Gothenburg and Gaithersburg.
    IRBM Science Park is an Italian firm, founded in 2009 at Pomezia just south of Rome, operating in the sector della molecular biotechnology, biomedical science and organic chemistry.
    photo: IRBM HQ at Pomezia (ANSA).


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