The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is one that is showing promising results in the fight against COVID 19,a strong partnership between the University of Oxford, a leading university in the world and AstraZeneca, a global bio pharmaceutical company dedicated to finding a lasting medical solution to the pandemic. Although the vaccine is still undergoing phase III of its trials, preliminary results from the observatory data confirm that the vaccine is presenting strong immune response in the host bodies.
According to Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the trial, “The interim Phase I/II data for our coronavirus vaccine shows that the vaccine did not lead to any unexpected reactions and had a similar safety profile to previous vaccines of this type. The immune responses observed following vaccination are in line with what we expect will be associated with protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although we must continue with our rigorous clinical trial programme to confirm this. We saw the strongest immune response in participants who received two doses of the vaccine, indicating that this might be a good strategy for vaccination.”
However, WHO has cautioned in its latest briefing that it still is unrealistic to have a vaccine deployed before early months of 2021. Vaccine development is a long, complex process, often lasting 10-15 years and involving a combination of public and private participation. Yet, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has condensed the required timelines and is expected to be out within 12 months.
‘Developing a vaccine in about a year is unprecedented,’ says Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist at the University of Guelph in Canada, who has received Covid-focused funding to develop a new vaccine platform. ‘As a scientist with expertise in the field I am personally concerned that conducting science too fast could risk compromising the rigour needed to properly assess vaccines. A vaccine that is ineffective and/or unsafe will not be useful.’
For adults over 50, It is always advised that we get all the necessary vaccinations especially the annual flu shot, Tetanus or Tdap vaccine, Shingles vaccine, Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. In addition, older adults with underlying conditions are the most vulnerable.
As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect our health, even if one is taking prescription medications.
The question now is will you take the vaccine if available within twelve months as projected?