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Viral infections

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine induces immune response and is safe in humans, early trial data suggests

Phase I/II trials of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, have shown a strong immune response with no serious adverse reactions.

Open access article

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has made this article free to access in order to help healthcare professionals stay informed about an issue of national importance.

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University of Oxford


A COVID-19 vaccine developed at the University of Oxford has shown “encouraging” results

The University of Oxford’s ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine induces a strong immune response with no serious adverse reactions, preliminary findings of a phase I/II trial published in The Lancet (20 July 2020) have suggested[1].

Between 23 April 2020 and 21 May 2020, 1,077 healthy adults aged 18–55 years with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection were randomly assigned to receive either ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or the control, a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY), as a single intramuscular injection.

Then, 28 days after the first vaccine, 10 participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group were assigned to receive a second dose of the vaccine.

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was found to be safe and tolerated with no serious adverse reactions. The majority of adverse events reported were mild or moderate, and most could be managed with paracetamol.

In the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, T-cell responses peaked 14 days after vaccination; antibody responses rose by day 28 and were boosted following a second dose of the vaccine. Neutralising antibody responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus were detected in all participants after a second vaccine dose.

“These encouraging results support further evaluation of this candidate vaccine in our ongoing large scale phase III programme, which is still needed to assess the ability of the vaccine to protect people from COVID-19,” said Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford Jenner Institute and co-author of the study.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208198

Readers' comments (1)

  • It is troubling to hear on the national news, and to read in reports such as the one above that trial volunteers, and evidently also those carrying out the trials, have been happy to reach for or recommend that panacea for all ills known as paracetamol seemingly unaware of its dark side.[1] In a study published in The Lancet in 2009, it was concluded that administration of paracetamol at the time of vaccination should not be routinely recommended since antibody responses to several of the vaccine antigens under investigation were reduced.[2] This observation was deemed sufficiently important to warrant re-publication in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin in 2011.[3]

    [1] Schmidt RJ (2013) Paracetamol: its dark side. NAWP Magazine (08): 10-13 [ ;]

    [2] Prymula R et al. (2009) Effect of prophylactic paracetamol administration at time of vaccination on febrile reactions and antibody responses in children: two open-label randomised controlled trials. The Lancet 374(9698) 1339-1350 [ ;]

    [3] DTB Select: 6 | July 2011 Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin 49(7) []

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