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The University of Oxford is working with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.  / Oxford University courtesy photo

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The UK covid-19 vaccine produces
strong immune response,
researchers say

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.

According to the University report, the results of the Phase I/II trial indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

The vaccine provoked a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination, which means that white blood cells attacked cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And an antibody response within 28 days, which is when antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted.

During the study participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection, and these responses were strongest after a booster dose, with 100% of participants' blood having neutralising activity against the coronavirus.

The next step in studying the vaccine is to confirm that it can effectively protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

"The Phase I/II data for our coronavirus vaccine shows that the vaccine did not lead to any unexpected reactions and had a similar safety profile to previous vaccines of this type," said Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the study. "The immune responses observed following vaccination are in line with what previous animal studies have shown are associated with protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although we must contprogram our rigorous clinical trial programme to confirm this in humans."

According to Pollard, researchers saw the strongest immune response in the 10 participants who received two doses of the vaccine, indicating that this might be a good strategy for vaccination.

The University of Oxford is working with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for further development, large-scale manufacture and potential distribution of the covid-19 vaccine, with plans for clinical development and production of the Oxford vaccine progressing globally. The project has been further spurred by £84 million of government funding to help accelerate the vaccine’s development.

Oxford and AstraZeneca are collaborating with clinical partners around the world as part of a global clinical program to test the Oxford vaccine. The global program is made up of a Phase III trial in the United States enrolling 30,000 patients, and a pediatric study in low-to-middle income countries including Brazil and South Africa which are already underway.

Scientists around the world are in a race against time to find a cure for covid-19. In Costa Rica, authorities reported a fast increase in newly infected cases as well as deaths due to the virus.

As of Monday afternoon, the ministry provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

420 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 8,449 active cases. The ages of patients infected range from a three-month-old baby to a 99-year-old person.

3,346 foreigners have been infected of the 11,534 cases since March, approximately 29% of the total cases.

• 259 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 212 patients are in recovery rooms and 47 are in Intensive Care Units, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 3,019 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 26% recovery rate.

• 47,687 people have been ruled out.

• 69,947 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

• 66 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March.
Which is a 0,6% death rate. Of these, one person whose nationality is not yet identified, 19 foreigners,  and 46   Costa Ricans. Of the total of deaths, 26 were women and 40 men.

Readers can reach the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map.

As of Monday night, the pandemic has killed 608,637 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Should covid-19 treatment advancements be accessible to all countries?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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