Irish-led team develops vaccine with 'double protection' against coronavirus

Irish-led team develops vaccine with 'double protection' against coronavirus

A VACCINE in development at the University of Oxford could be ready as early as September, researchers have revealed.

The team of scientists is led by Irish professor Adrian Hill, who previously worked on Ebola and maria vaccines.

The high-profile research, which launched in May, recruited up to 10,000 people to be used in human trials of the vaccine the team had in development.

Now researchers have revealed that the human trials have shown extremely positive results, with the vaccine potentially providing "double protection" against the virus.

According to The Daily Telegraph, blood samples taken from volunteers who received the vaccine showed accelerated growth in antibodies and T-cells, which play a vital part in the body's immune response.

David Carpenter, chairman of the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee said the vaccine was "absolutely on track"-- and could be widely available as close as September.

Professor Adrian Hill leads the team of scientists at Oxford University, who have developed a coronavitus vaccine which provides 'double protection' against the virus
(Photo by Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Admitting that "nobody can put final dates" as "things might go wrong", Mr Carpenter said "the reality is that by working with a big pharma company, that vaccine could be fairly widely avalailable around September and that is the sort of target they are working on".

If the vaccine works, priority will be given to the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, immunocompromised and healthcare workers.

The initial testing is so positive, the pharmaceutical company has already agreed to supply around two billion doses of the vaccine worldwide, according to Sky News.

In further positive news in the global fight against the virus, a vaccine being trialled in the United States by Moderna Inc has also exceeded all expectations.

The New England Journal of Medicine revealed yesterday that the prototype shot, named mRNA-1273, has "revved up" people's immune systems against the virus.

According to researchers, all 45 of the tests subjects-- healthy people ranging in age from 18 to 55-- produced antibodies similar to the amount found in people who had contracted and recovered from the virus

Used in the same way as vaccines against other viruses and diseases, the mRNA contains a small amount of Covid-19, and when entered into the body of a healthy person, forces the body to produce an immunity response.

Some experienced mild flu-like symptoms but initial trials indicate the vaccine is safe.

Dr Kizzmekia S Corbett from the US National Institutes of Health said the vaccine "exceeds all expectations".