COVID-19: Breakthrough Vaccine in sight as Volunteers Show Signs of Immunity

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Scientists from Oxford University have recently announced they are now hopeful of a successful COVID-19 vaccine after volunteers showed signs of immunity in separate trials.

The trials conducted in the UK and the US have shown positive results with scientists now hopeful that the vaccine could end the virus that has killed hundreds of thousands worldwide.

The UK team, focused on T-cells which develop as a result of a long-lasting immune response, and confirmed on Wednesday that they are “80 per cent” confident they will have a great working vaccine by September.

Oxford University team who conducted the research partnered pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and will mass produce the drug when it's hundred per cent ready.

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According to the scientists who revealed their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the vaccine produced an immune response in 45 healthy volunteers during the early-stage study.

The scientists also revealed volunteers who got two doses of the vaccine had high levels of antibodies which exceeded those seen in patients who have recovered from COVID-19.

Both vaccines work by tricking the body into believing it has been infected with the virus to provoke an immune response that can then attack the virus.

Scientists say they started to focus on T-cells also known as “memory” cells, that are made in response to an infection and, unlike antibodies, remain long afterwards.

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One of the UK scientists told ITV News on Wednesday: “An important point to keep in mind is that there are two dimensions to the immune response: antibodies and T-cells.

“Everybody is focused on antibodies but there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the T-cells response is important in the defence against coronavirus.”

 

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