The results of the mid-stage trials were published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday, suggesting that those aged over 70 – who carry a higher risk if succumbing to COVID-19 – could build robust immunity to the virus, according to researchers. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate is among the front-runners in the global race for a jab.
Maheshi Ramasamy, a consultant and a co-lead investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “The robust antibody and T-cell responses seen in older people in our study are encouraging.
“The populations at greatest risk of serious COVID-19 disease include people with existing health conditions and older adults.
“We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure.”
Late-stage trials are ongoing to confirm the findings, researchers said.
The Phase III experiments will test whether the vaccine protects against infection with SARS-CoV-2 in a broad range of people, including people with underlying health conditions.
The Lancet report said the first efficacy data from these trials is “possible in the coming weeks”.
The publishing of the findings comes hot on the heels of promising news from Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna about their respective vaccine candidates.
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