First Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Results Very Promising

A COVID-19 vaccine being developed by researchers at the University of Oxford is "safe and induces an immune reaction" according to the findings of the first phase of human trials.

The results, based on 1,077 healthy adults found that the vaccine induced strong antibody and T-cell immune responses up to day 56 of the ongoing trial, according to the medical journal, Lancet.

T-cells are significant, as they determine whether the body can maintain protection against the virus for years.

The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine which is being developed in partnership between Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The Lancet also stated that the vaccine caused only minor side effects, some of which could be reduced by taking paracetamol.

However, it is still to early to conclude whether the vaccine can offer full protection against the COVID-19 virus, with the report into early findings stating that further testing is still needed to establish if this is the case. Larger trials currently under way.

Professor Andrew Pollard, who is leading the study at the University of Oxford, said: "The immune system has two ways of finding and attacking pathogens - antibody and T cell responses.

The vaccine being developed by Oxford University has shown promising results. iStock

"This vaccine is intended to induce both, so it can attack the virus when it's circulating in the body, as well as attacking infected cells.

"We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period.

"However, we need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for how long any protection lasts."

The government believes that a vaccine is the best hope of defeating COVID-19.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have some of our best scientists and researchers working on this, but members of the public have a vital role to play too. So, I urge everyone who can to back the national effort and sign up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry to help find a vaccine as soon as possible."

It comes as a survey revealed that more than a quarter of Britons could refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if a vaccine becomes available.

A survey of 2,065 people aged 18 and over from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, found that 27 percent of people would not accept a vaccine right away.

The U.K. has also signed a deal for 90 million doses of promising vaccines that are being developed.

The vaccine, called called AZD-1222, was given to 1,077 healthy adults aged between 18 and 55 in five UK hospitals in April and May as part of the phase one clinical trial for the vaccine being developed by scientists at the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca.

Half of the volunteers taking part in the trial were given the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and half were given a meningitis vaccine. The AZD-1222 vaccine caused more side effects considered minor than the meningitis one, but Paracetamol relieved most of the effects, the study found.