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New coronavirus vaccine triggers immune response in early testing

A coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and drug company AstraZeneca triggered an immune response in early trials, according to a study published on Monday, July 20

The vaccine produced strong immune responses in patients inoculated with both single- and two-dose versions of the vaccine. The promising results were first published in the scientific journal The Lancet.

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Phase one of the trials took place with over 1,000 participants aged 18-55 years, all of whom had no history of coronavirus infection. While researchers stated that the two-dose vaccine produces a higher immune response, the single-dose vaccine is also useful. Both were deemed safe for human use, according to the study.

Given the moniker ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the vaccine combines DNA from the coronavirus with an adapted adenovirus known to trigger illness in chimpanzees. 

However, the results do not prove that the vaccine will provide immunity from the coronavirus. Further trials are needed to determine if the vaccine prevents patients from catching the disease.

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Researchers hope to begin trials in the United States in a few weeks. In June, Oxford University’s partner, AstraZeneca, announced it was striving to produce and distribute over 2 billion doses of the vaccine once available.

This news comes as researchers around the world race for a stable coronavirus vaccine. While Oxford University’s response is hopeful, other companies have also disclosed encouraging data on their vaccine research. In a 45-participant trial by drug development firm Moderna, another potential COVID-19 vaccine also generated an immune response.

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