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Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is safe for older people, creators say

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The ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 vaccine

AstraZeneca and Oxford have yet to release later-stage, or Phase Three, trial data demonstrating the vaccine's overall efficacy in fighting Covid-19.

Older people's weaker immune systems mean vaccines do not tend to function as well as they do in younger people. That level of trust takes time to rebuild if it has been eroded. And, it is of interest to India, as Pune-based Serum Institute has a production and distribution alliance on this vaccine for low and middle income countries. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

The race for the coronavirus vaccine has picked up pace in recent weeks with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna announcing the results of phase 3 trials.

The Phase III trial of the two-dose vaccination will be carried out in nine hospitals throughout Spain on volunteers both with and without previous health conditions, the AEMPS agency said in a statement.

The minister said one can protect oneself from this deadly virus with small precautions like wearing a good quality mask properly, maintaining social distance and taking care of hand-hygiene.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "There is still much work to be done, but this is a really encouraging set of findings from the @UniofOxford and @AstraZeneca vaccine". Antibody responses against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were induced in all age groups and were boosted and maintained at 28 days after booster vaccination, including in the 70 years and older group.

Study lead author Professor Andrew Pollard, from the University of Oxford, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he was "absolutely delighted" with the latest trial results which suggest a strong immune response in older adults, adding it is also "really well tolerated".

Phase II vaccine trials provide important preliminary data but don't prove whether they ultimately prevent people from getting sick.

Pollard said there is no competition between the various research teams, because several vaccines will be needed to bring the global pandemic under control and allow life to return to normal.

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