New study reveals Oxford coronavirus vaccine produces strong immune response

A team of scientists including Reuben College Official Fellow Teresa Lambe has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.

Teresa has been at the forefront of Oxford’s vaccine work, through her role as principal investigator at the Jenner Institute. Her team started developing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in early 2020, and they have been working closely with other groups, including the Oxford Vaccine Group, to deliver the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 clinical vaccine programme.

Today, results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

The vaccine provoked a T-cell response within 14 days of vaccination (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted). During the study, participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection, and these responses were strongest after a booster dose, with 100% of participants’ blood having neutralising activity against the coronavirus.

Speaking shortly after the announcement of The Lancet publication, Teresa Lambe said: “We’re really pleased to be able to publish our first set of results from our first vaccine trial…It’s been a huge amount of teamwork and we’re very grateful to the vaccinnees and the volunteers and the teams in both the clinic and the lab that have worked together to deliver these results. We’ve also had collaborators across the world that have helped along the way. Without this team effort we would not have got to where we are today.”

Teresa was one of the first Official Fellows recruited to Reuben College (in May this year), and is part of the research cluster on Cellular Life. She continues to work with her colleagues in the Jenner Institute to expand clinical trials into different age groups and populations to test the efficacy of the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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