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UPDATE 1-First human trial of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows promise

Mon, 20th Jul 2020 14:55

(Adds detail, background)

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's
experimental COVID-19 vaccine was safe and produced an immune
response in early-stage clinical trials in healthy volunteers,
data showed on Monday.

The vaccine, called AZD1222 and being developed by
AstraZeneca and scientists at Britain's University of Oxford,
did not prompt any serious side effects and elicited antibody
and T-cell immune responses, according to trial results
published in The Lancet medical journal.

"We hope this means the immune system will remember the
virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended
period," study lead author Andrew Pollard of the University of
Oxford said.

"However, we need more research before we can confirm the
vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
infection, and for how long any protection lasts," he said.

AstraZeneca's is among the leading vaccine candidates
against a pandemic that has claimed more than 600,000 lives,
alongside others in mid and late-stage trials.

These include shots being developed by China's Sinovac
Biotech, another from state-owned Chinese firm
Sinopharm, and one from the U.S. biotech firm Moderna.

AstraZeneca has signed agreements with governments around
the world to supply the vaccine should it prove effective and
gain regulatory approval. The company has said it will not seek
to profit from the vaccine during the pandemic.

Researchers said the vaccine caused minor side effects more
frequently than a control group, but some of these could be
reduced by taking paracetamol, with no serious adverse events
from the vaccine.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; additional reporting by Pushkala
Aripaka and Kate Kelland; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark
Potter)

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