AstraZeneca Says Its CCP Virus Vaccine Triggers Encouraging Immune Response

October 26, 2020 Updated: October 26, 2020

AstraZeneca’s CCP virus vaccine is producing an encouraging immune response among both older and younger adults, the drugmaker said on Oct. 26.

AstraZeneca, which is developing the possible vaccine along with the University of Oxford, said adverse responses to the vaccine among the elderly were found to be lower.

“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman told news outlets.

“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of [the vaccine].”

A spokesman for Oxford University said the results mark “a key milestone” in the development of a vaccine, while reassuring that the vaccine is “safe for use and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system in all adult groups.”

Oxford and AstraZeneca said that data from the analysis was submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, although it’s not clear when a study could be published.

Oxford is the sponsor of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus trials in the United Kingdom, while AstraZeneca is the sponsor in the United States. In the United States, the trials were delayed in September and in most of October to quell safety questions.

According to an information sheet (pdf) published online, Oxford University participants had some “unexplained neurological symptoms,” which included limb weakness or unusual sensations. But it added there was “insufficient evidence” to say if the symptoms “were or were not related to the vaccine.”

“In each of these cases, after considering the information, the independent reviewers recommended that vaccinations should continue. Close monitoring of the affected individuals and other participants will be continued. With any new medicine or vaccine there is always a possibility of an unexpected side effect,” the sheet said.

On Oct. 23, AstraZeneca was given the go-ahead to restart the vaccine trial in the United States by federal regulators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether the vaccine could be linked to adverse side effects.

“The restart of clinical trials across the world is great news as it allows us to continue our efforts to develop this vaccine to help defeat this terrible pandemic,” AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said at the time. “We should be reassured by the care taken by independent regulators to protect the public and ensure the vaccine is safe before it is approved for use.”