University of Oxford scientists expect to report results from the late-stage trials of their COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas, a key researcher said on Thursday as he discussed the team’s latest findings.
Dr. Andrew Pollard, an expert in pediatric infection and immunity at Oxford, said the research was slowed by low infection rates over the summer, but the Phase 3 trials are now accumulating the data needed to report results as a renewed surge of the pandemic hits countries around the world. Oxford is developing its vaccine in conjunction with the drugmaker AstraZeneca.
“I think we’re getting close, and it’s definitely going to be before Christmas based on the progress,” Pollard said in an interview with the BBC.
Pollard discussed progress in the late-stage trials as Oxford released a study based on earlier research that found the vaccine was well tolerated and produced a strong immune response in people aged above 70. This is important because vaccines often do not work as well in older people, Pollard said.
“The reason that we’re so delighted is we’re seeing the immune responses look exactly the same, even in those who are over 70 years of age,” Pollard said.
The findings were based on a so-called Phase 2 trial of 560 people, including 240 above the age of 70. The results of the peer-reviewed study were published on Thursday in the Lancet, an international medical journal.
Phase 2 vaccine trials provide important preliminary data but do not prove whether they ultimately prevent people from getting sick. Oxford and AstraZeneca are waiting for the results of Phase 3 trials on thousands of people around the world to show whether their vaccine is safe and effective.
Two other drugmakers, Pfizer and Moderna, this week reported preliminary results from late-stage trials showing that their COVID-19 vaccines were almost 95 percent effective.
Pollard said there is no competition between the various research teams because several vaccines would be needed to bring the global pandemic under control and allow life to return to normal.
Despite recent progress, Pollard said the world is still in the early stages of the effort to protect people against COVID-19. Even after vaccines are approved by regulators, drugmakers and public health officials still face the task of producing billions of doses and administering them to people around the world, he said.
Pollard, an amateur mountaineer, compared the task with the work involved in climbing a mountain.
“I think we’re still at the bottom of that mountain in some ways,” he said. “We’ve done the route into the bottom of the mountain, the long trek to get to the start. Now we’ve got to get the data about the vaccines in front of regulators for them to scrutinize it and approve the first vaccines. And then we’ve got that huge effort to climb up to the top where we’ve got a vast majority of those who are at risk vaccinated.”
The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.
KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.
Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.
The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.
Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.