Three vaccines show the most promise in stimulating immune responses

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Credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

Vaccines being developed by University of Oxford researchers and AstraZenecaPfizer and German partner BioNTech; and China’s CanSino Biologics all reported fresh updates showing their shots generated immune responses and were safe to use.

The results cement the trio’s position among a few drugmakers and institutions at the vanguard of the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. About 160 vaccines are in development, including about 20 that have started human testing, according to the World Health Organization. With a clutch of front-runners now having reported positive early results, attention is rapidly turning to larger, later-stage trials that would prove the efficacy of the shots in tens of thousands of volunteers and potentially lead to the treatments’ approval for use.

For the Oxford vaccine, a study of 1,077 healthy adults showed the shot produced two kinds of immune response that could defend a body against Covid-19…The vaccine caused no serious side effects, the study found.

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The early but promising Phase 1-2 results mean researchers remain on their schedule to have the shot—described by the WHO’s chief scientist last month as the world’s most-advanced vaccine candidate—ready for mass production as soon as September.

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“There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise,” Oxford researcher Sarah Gilbert said.

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