Professor Sarah Gilbert, head of the scientific team developing the covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, confirmed this Wednesday afternoon to the committee that is analyzing the evolution of the pandemic in the British Parliament, whose prototype they are investigating at the Jenner Institute is giving an “adequate immune response”. However, Gilbert did not want to set a probable date to state, without margin of error, the effectiveness of the candidate antidote against infection, as it depends on the results of phase III of the clinical trial, a process in which it is currently.
The first human test of the Oxford vaccine took place on 24 April. The World Health Organization considered last week that this research is the most likely, for now, to find an effective remedy first.
The Oxford vaccine team, called AZD1222, has established a marketing commitment with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which has promised to deliver the first doses next October, in case the tests that already done in 8,000 volunteers confirm the efficacy data so far pointed out. Among other countries, AstraZeneca has established agreements with South Africa and Brazil to test the prototype in volunteers of its population, severely punished especially by the community transmission of covid-19.
“We are very happy because we are seeing an appropriate and protective type of immune response,” Gilbert told the parliamentary committee. For her part, Kate Bingham, chair of the task force set up by the British government to develop the covid-19 vaccine, also said on Wednesday afternoon that she hoped there would be significant scientific progress in the early years. year 2021. Bingham has excluded the Oxford prototype from this advance, as he is confident, as Dr. Gilbert has also stated, that the results of the AZD1222 will be positive long before. Experts, however, stress that the most realistic thing is not to wait for any particularly significant news until late summer or early autumn.
The Pfizer prototype
In fact, the prudence derived from the history of scientific research in the development of vaccines has put him, before the same parliamentary committee, John Bell, also a professor of medicine at Oxford University. Bell has assured that the UK should be prepared by counting that it will not have the vaccine next winter.
As the authorities of the Ministry and the Ministry of Health have already done in Catalonia and Spain, Bell has encouraged the British to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible to avoid a double collapse in hospitals, with a possible new outbreak. of coronavirus that overlaps with the usual flu. “The management of this whole epidemic has been based too much on assumptions that have turned out to be wrong. My strongest advice is that we must prepare for the worst.”
On the other hand, the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the German biotechnology company BioNTech announced this Wednesday positive results of the first phase of the clinical trial of the vaccine they are developing against the coronavirus. The prototype has been tested on 45 healthy adults divided into several groups. Twenty-four volunteers received it in two different doses; twelve were inoculated with a very high dose and nine more people were treated with placebos. The group that received two doses is the one that produced the highest level of antibodies. The two companies are now evaluating four multi-dose formulas. The next phase will be tested on 30,000 people.