The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Tuesday described the development of COVID-19 vaccine by the University of Oxford as promising.
It however said that having passed the first and second phases of trial, the vaccine still needs to go through a third trial and validation before its efficacy against the COVID-19 is established.
Speaking via its Twitter handle, the NCDC said, “Positive news from University of Oxford on progress made in the development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
“Phase I/II trials of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise, however, phase III trials are needed to validate its efficacy against the virus.”
According to a report by Oxford University, the phase one and two trials indicated no early safety concerns and induce strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.
It further stated that participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection against coronavirus.
“A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.
“The results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induce 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),” the report said.
It added, “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 percent of participants’ blood having neutralising activity against the coronavirus.
“The next step in studying the vaccine is to confirm that it can effectively protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
“The University of Oxford is working with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacture and potential distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, with plans for clinical development and production of the Oxford vaccine progressing globally. The project has been further spurred by £84 million of government funding to help accelerate the vaccine’s development.
“Oxford and AstraZeneca are collaborating with clinical partners around the world as part of a global clinical programme to trial the Oxford vaccine. The global programme is made up of a Phase III trial in the US enrolling 30,000 patients, a pediatric study, as well as Phase III trials in low-to-middle income countries including Brazil and South Africa which are already underway.
“AstraZeneca remain committed to fulfilling their commitment for broad and equitable access to the vaccine, should late-stage clinical trials prove successful.
“So far, commitments to supply more than 2 billion doses of the vaccine have been agreed with the UK, US, Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and Serum Institute of India.”