Washington: One of the leading contenders to develop a COVID-19 vaccine Moderna, a US biotechnology company , has claimed that the immune response triggered by its candidate vaccine trials among a small set of older patients was similar to that seen in younger people during the vaccine trials.
A sample of 20 people aged 56 years or above were included in the additional trials of the vaccine and the results are based on these additonal trials.
The results hold good signs of promise of the vaccine being equally effective in protecting the older people against the COVID-19 disease as the younger adults. Older people are said to be more vulnerable to the infection and have a far greater fatality rate.
The company said that the vaccine also appeared to be well tolerated by the subjects of the trials, and no serious adverse impacts was observed. Some patients did report fatigue, headaches and pain, but these are expected side-effects, and were over within two days, it said.
Oxford University vaccine trials kickstarts in India
Phase-2 trials of the Oxford University vaccine for novel Coronavirus started in India Wednesday. The first doses of the vaccine were given to a set of six volunteers at Pune’s Bharati Vidyapeeth medical college and hospital. This vaccine which is developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca is considered the most promising and is undergoing phase-3 trials a few other countries as well.
Besides Pune, the phase-2 trials will take place at two more locations, one at the KEM hospital in Mumbai and the other at PGI, Chandigarh.
The vaccine’s efficacy will encompass its ability to protect the volunteers in real life situations and will involve several more hospitals in the process during the phase-3 trials. In phase-3, the vaccine is tried on several thousand volunteers. However, since these tests are only being repeated in India, a total of 1,600 volunteers are expected to be given the vaccine during the phase-2 and phase-3 trials in India.