OXFORD, U.K. (NBC) – As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, there’s encouraging news in the race to develop a vaccine.
Early research suggests a vaccine being developed in the U.K. is safe and effective and could potentially be available by the end of 2020
Oxford University Doctor Adrian Hill is the Director of the Jenner Institute. He said, “It’s really a pleasure to be able to share these results.”
Critical early data from human trials of a vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University indicates it induced two immune responses: the production of antibodies and the production of T-cells, which attack virus cells.
AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice-President for Biopharmaceuticals R&D Mene Pangalos said, “We don’t know if one is more important than the other at the moment, but we think both are important so we’re happy to see both in our vaccine.”
No serious side effects were reported. Headache and fatigue were the most common.
The vaccine is already in phase three trials to determine if the vaccine protects against infection.
Just days ago, Massachusetts-based Moderna announced its vaccine candidate has also been found to induce immune responses. It’s aiming to move to phase three trails by the end of the month.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 100 potential vaccines are in development.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “By the end of this calendar year and the beginning of 2021, I feel optimistic. Nobody guarantees, but I feel optimistic that we will have a vaccine.”
Oxford University and AstraZeneca have agreed to supply Europe with 400 million doses of vaccine as early as the end of the year if additional studies and research continue to go well.