Recently, investigational vaccines that were being tested in the lab rhesus monkey model showed positive effects and reportedly protected the monkeys from developing coronavirus-related pneumonia.
More specifically, the collaborative team of researchers from the University of Oxford and the National Institutes of Health found that a single dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine was effective in managing complications related to the infection.
The phase one of the trials started in late April and tested the vaccine on healthy individuals from the UK after its development at the University of Oxford Jenner Institute.
According to the findings of the study, which are available on bioRxiv, the vaccine contains replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus to transmit a protein specifically for the coronavirus infection, which then triggers an immune response.
Previously, ChAdOx1 has also been used in the development of various vaccines against several viruses and other pathogens. For instance, the vaccine for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which is also caused by a coronavirus also contains ChAdOx1.
Since the vaccine against MERS had been proven successful and had played a fundamental role in its control, the scientists quickly used the formula in order to make a protective vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as the infection started spreading around the globe.
Till now, the trial on the ChAdOx1 vaccine is the only one to report positive effects so far and has raised the hope for a coronavirus vaccine that can significantly help in the control of the global health crisis.
After the testing of the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, started, it was seen to be effective in the prevention of coronavirus-related complications by causing immune system responses in rhesus macaques and lab mice.
Consequently, the vaccine was then tested again and more animals at the NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana. Six of the animals received the vaccine twenty-eight days before they were exposed to the coronavirus.
On the other hand, three animals in the control group were exposed without the vaccine. After some days, the animals in the control group started displaying signs of the coronavirus infection.
The researchers found that the six animals who had been vaccinated not only did not have any symptoms of the infection but were also seen to have no lung damage, virus replications, and trivial lung disease.
These findings add to the hope of developing a coronavirus vaccine in the coming months but the team agrees that it may take a lot of time. Though the results are promising, the vaccine still has to be tested in humans.
In comparison with animals, humans may unexpectedly respond differently to the vaccine. Additionally, no adverse effects on the animals do not mean it might be as safe for usage in humans.
Until the trial for testing the vaccine has completed all phases and has received official approval from health authorities, the researchers urge the people to follow all guidelines for the prevention of the further spread of the coronavirus and trust only doctors and clinicians for the treatment.
Currently, no medicines, vaccines, or treatment methodologies have been approved for the treatment of the coronavirus infection, in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Do not self-medicate or buy any products claiming to protect or treatment COVID-19. Visit a health facility or a hospital.
For effective prevention of the virus, maintain social distancing and avoiding going outdoors. Wearing a mask while working outside of the house as well as avoiding physical contact and washing hands frequently is also recommended.
Make sure to follow the instructions from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and check for any updates in the future.