Good News on Oxford’s COVID-19 Vaccine

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Trudeau's response comes after Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Wednesday that the province is expecting to get around 1.6 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine and around 800,000 of Moderna's for proper distribution by March 2021.

Competition has intensified among pharmaceutical companies racing to develop a Covid-19 shot, with two vaccines - one by USA company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another by United States firm Moderna - publishing large-scale trial data this month that showed their jabs were around 95 percent effective against Covid-19.

The immune responses reported in the study don't prove that the vaccine protects against infection with the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal said that a Chinese inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been proved safe and tolerable and can induce a quick immune response. However, Sinopharm said that the data from large-scale, late-stage clinical trials for its unit's COVID-19 vaccine are "better than expected".

All 560 participants in the study were healthy adults, with adverse reactions being less common in older adults than in younger ones. However, the level of antibodies generated was lower than in people who had recovered from the illness.

Compared with other Covid-19 vaccine candidates such as viral-vectored vaccines or DNA or RNA vaccines, according to the researchers, the occurrence of fever after vaccination with CoronaVac was relatively low. Immunogenicity was also similar across age groups after a boost vaccination.

"What this could mean is that in the future when we're looking to boost people's responses, we might need to do it more often in older people than we do with younger people, but we're not thinking that we're going to need to boost people a couple of times a year as we do with the flu vaccine".

"The robust antibody and T-cell responses seen in older people in our study are encouraging", Oxford University's Dr. Maheshi Ramasamy, a co-author of The Lancet study, told CBS News. The ongoing study is a single-blind, multicenter, randomized, controlled phase II/III safety and efficacy study. "The next step will be to see if this translates into protection from the disease itself", he added.

Researchers say the latest results for CoronaVac support moving forward to Phase 3 trials.

Health experts have said an effective COVID-19 vaccine that can be rolled out quickly to the entire population will be a major weapon in stemming the pandemic.

Professor Pollard said: "We're still waiting to get to the point where we can do the analysis to just work out how well the vaccine can protect people, and we're getting ever closer to that".