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Representational image
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Medical journal The Lancet took to Twitter on Monday evening to state that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate appears to be safe and induces an immune reaction, according to preliminary results. The vaccine is being developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

As per The Lancet report, a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial was conducted, with researchers assessing the "safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a viral vectored coronavirus vaccine that expresses the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2". At present it bears a rather unwieldy name, having been termed the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.

The Oxford vaccine candidate is believed to be leading the race among over 100 such candidates to find an effective protection against the deadly disease. While the Phase-1 trial of the vaccine candidate began in April itself, the Phase 2/Phase 3 UK trial of the Oxford vaccine, named AZD1222, in about 10,000 adult volunteers was announced in May.

"ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has previously been reported to be immunogenic and protective against pneumonia in a rhesus macaque challenge model," The Lancet said.

Reporting on the results of the first clinical study of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), the journal said that the vaccine was "safe" and "tolerated".

"The vaccine was safe and tolerated, with reduced reactogenicity when paracetamol was used prophylactically for the first 24 hours after vaccination. Reactogenicity was reduced after a second dose," it notes.

According to the researcers, the humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein peaked by day 28 post prime and cellular responses were induced in all participants by day 14.

"Neutralising antibodies were induced in all participants after a second vaccine dose. After two doses, potent cellular and humoral immunogenicity was present in all participants studied," it said.

"Immunisation with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 results in rapid induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, with increased responses after a second dose," they added.

Read the full report here.

(With inputs from agencies)

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