Hopes rise of a Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough as TWO trials in the UK and US show volunteers injected with experimental jabs have signs of immunity against the disease.
Hopes for a working Covid-19 vaccine are growing as two projects in the UK and US have reported promising results in their early experiments.
Teams from Oxford University and the American pharmaceutical company Moderna have both revealed people in their studies are showing signs of immunity.
They have been developing experimental jabs for months to try to protect millions of people from catching the coronavirus in future.
Oxford scientists have already said they are ’80 per cent’ confident they can have a jab available by September.
People being given the Oxford vaccine have been developing antibodies and white blood cells called T cells which will help their bodies fight off the virus if they get infected, the researchers say.
And experts at Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said participants in their trial all successfully developed antibodies.
The vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking it’s infected with Covid-19 and causing it to produce immune substances that have the ability to destroy it.
While early research focused on antibodies, scientists are increasingly turning to a type of immunity called T cell immunity — which is controlled by white blood cells — which has shown signs of promise.
One source on the Oxford project told ITV News: ‘An important point to keep in mind is that there are two dimensions to the immune response: antibodies and T-cells.
‘Everybody is focused on antibodies but there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the T-cells response is important in the defence against coronavirus.’
A vaccine against coronavirus being developed in Britain is showing positive signs it could work after trials revealed that participants are developing cells that can kill off the disease.
Oxford’s trial is involving around 8,000 people across the UK and also up to 6,000 people in Brazil and South Africa, where the jab may be easier to test because more people are infected with the coronavirus.
The vaccine is being manufactured by AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge, England, and millions of doses have already been ordered by Number 10 in the hope that it will work.
ITV’s political editor Robert Peston wrote in a blog that he has been told to expect good news on the trial later this week, with results expected in the British medical journal The Lancet on Thursday.
The piece said: ‘Apparently the vaccine is generating the kind of antibody and T-cell (killer cell) response that the researchers would hope to see.’
Source : Daily Mail