Companies to seek emergency approval for use of COVID-19 vaccines

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"We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure", Ramasamy said. But British efforts, lead by the Oxford vaccine group, have not yielded public results as of yet.

They had their immune responses assessed on the day of the vaccination, then several more times over the coming weeks.

"The research shows that an immune response was generated in all age groups, including in the cohort of participants aged over 70 years", said Michael Head, senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, who was not involved in the trial.

The results are similar to those seen in the vaccine candidate's trials that included adults aged 18-55 years.

Divided even further, participants were randomised to receive one dose of vaccine, while some received two doses. The other group was given a placebo - a shot with an inactive substance.

The study was published November 19 in The Lancet. The vaccine uses a chimpanzee adenovirus which has been genetically modified to have the same external spike proteins as SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19. They also did not have any serious adverse health events related to the vaccine in the volunteers.

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FILE - A health worker talks to a vaccine trials' volunteer in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 27, 2020. Oxford is developing its vaccine in conjunction with the drugmaker AstraZeneca. The study includes 60,000 volunteers from Britain, the United States, Russia and Brazil, among other countries. Pollard said he expects to release all data from the Phase 3 study by late December.

Results of those trials should definitely be known by Christmas, the Oxford Vaccine Group's director Andrew Pollard said, adding it was too early to know whether and how well the vaccine works in preventing the COVID-19 disease. This is if the FDA grants emergency approval for vaccines from pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna.

Israel is also working on a home-grown vaccine, though it is now only in phase 1 trials and its development is expected to take months longer than the foreign candidates.

More conclusive results akin to those of Moderna or Pfizer should come by the winter.

Asked about when the efficacy data for the vaccine, AZD1222/ ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is expected, Pollard told BBC Radio: "We haven't quite got to that point yet". He said, "We will need all of them to protect people around the globe".

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English.

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