A COVID-19 vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford seems to be showing promising results at an early human testing phase.
The vaccine increased levels of both protective neutralizing antibodies and immune T-cells that target the virus, according to the study organizers.
“We are seeing very good immune responses, not just on neutralizing antibodies but of T-cells as well,” said Adrian Hill, head of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, in an interview. “We’re stimulating both arms of the immune system.”
Stimulating production of neutralizing antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean that the vaccine will work, but it is a very important early step during testing. Results from testing in animals had already shown that this particular vaccine jolted the body into producing an immune response.
These findings might look promising, but the vaccine is still being tested and it hasn’t yet reached a stage where it can be mass produced.
There is still good news; however, as next phase trials are underway with more than 10,000 people set to take part in the next stage of the test.
Health Minister Chris Fearne has previously confirmed that residents of Malta and Gozo will have free access to the COVID-19 vaccine whenever it is made available in Europe.
As it stands, Malta currently has 4 active cases of COVID-19.