The world, keenly waiting for a vaccine to defeat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), might just be able to turn a corner with Oxford University’s candidate showing promising results. This could signal relief for ravaged economies and overworked healthcare systems in major nations battling the viral contagion that has claimed 1.15 million lives.
According to British and Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc, the drug AZD1222 has shown immune response in older and younger adults, with reduced adversarial effects among the elderly. Officials from the vaccine developer have said that it is ‘encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the Covid-19 disease severity is higher’.
“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” an AstraZeneca spokesperson said.
Here are the other Covid-19 vaccine developments you need to know today:
– Fauci says vaccine verdict due by early December
Stating that a verdict on safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccine is likely to emerge in early December, US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said more widespread vaccination would not be likely until later in 2021.
“We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December,” Fauci said, according to Reuters. “When you talk about vaccinating a substantial proportion of the population so that you can have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak, that very likely will not be until the second or third quarter of the year,” Fauci said.
– Qatar signs deal to buy Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
Joining the league of countries queuing up to buy Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine, Qatar has signed an agreement with the drugmaker. The country will buy the potential vaccine once it clears the approval round and is made available for global use, Reuters reported.
“Negotiating early and securing a number of agreements enhances our chances of getting sufficient quantities of the vaccine early,” said Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of a national Covid-19 health group and head of infectious diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.
Moderna, it said, is on track to produce 20 million doses of its vaccine by the end of the year, while maintaining its goal of readying 500 million to 1 billion doses in 2021.
– Israel in global race of Covid-19 vaccine human trials
Announcing its plan to join the global race of running human trials of Covid-19 vaccine, Israel said its potential drug will be developed by a research institute and will be overlooked by the country’s defence ministry on November 1 after receiving regulatory approval.
– UK not hopeful of Covid-19 vaccine this year
A top UK official on Monday said he saw abysmal hopes of the country securing a Covid-19 vaccine and said that it is placing its central expectations in the first half of 2021. “On my central expectation, I would expect the bulk of the rollout to be in the first half of next year,” Matt Hancock, the British health secretary, said. On some people receiving a vaccine this year, he replied: “I don’t rule that out but that is not my central expectation.”