Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine candidate is showing positive results.

The next stage of trials in Britain will involve 10 000 people, of which about 7 000 Brazilians and South Africans who will test the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. If everything goes to plan, the vaccine could be rolled out widely by early next year, according to the Oxford Vaccine Group.

LONDON – Two candidate vaccines, including a closely watched one being developed at the University of Oxford, showed positive trial results Monday against the virus that causes COVID-19, making it more likely that a safe, effective vaccine can be developed quickly.

They add to two small, previous studies on different vaccine candidates in the U.S. that also appeared to be relatively safe and to trigger appropriate immune responses in study subjects. 

Early stage trials explore only safety and dosing and cannot determine a vaccine’s effectiveness, but signs indicate that all four candidate vaccines are leading to immune responses similar to those experienced by people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

About 17 candidate vaccines are being tested in people around the world.

The new results showed Oxford University and drug company AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine, AZD-1222, led to strong immune responses for nearly two months in a trial that continues to track more than 1,000 healthy adults. A second dose, given to 10 patients, seems to have boosted their immune response further without adding significant side effects, according to a paper published Monday in The Lancet.


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