By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 20 November 2021 • 8:31
AstraZeneca, developers of the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in the UK, are undertaking new Covid-19 vaccine trials using antibodies from those who have previously contracted thae virus. Initial indications are that the new vaccine will be more effective than the first.
Although the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in conjunction with Oxford University reduced symptomatic Covid-19 by around 80% within months of a single dose, its protection is also known to wane rapidly. Available research suggests that protection reduces to around 40% within six months, whereas the protection offered by the Pfizer vaccine drops to 60% over the same period.
This research is in part, what has prompted AstraZeneca to work on and trial a new vaccine. The hope is that the new antibody cocktail, called AZD7442, will not only provide longer protection but that it will be more effective in protecting those that have not responded well to the existing vaccines. People with low immunities and people receiving high levels of treatment such as cancer patients, have typically not responded well.
Initial indications are that the artificial antibody cocktail will provide protection for at least a year and although it has yet to be trialled on a large population, it has been tested when the Delta variant was rampant.
Hugh Montgomery, professor of intensive care medicine at University College London and the AZD7442 principal investigator, said of the Coronavirus, vaccine, : “These compelling results give me confidence that this long-acting antibody combination can provide my vulnerable patients with the long-lasting protection they urgently need to finally return to their everyday lives. Importantly, six months of protection was maintained despite the surge of the Delta variant among these high-risk participants who may not respond adequately to vaccination.”
A separate trial also showed the drug reduces the risk of severe Covid and death by 88% when given within three days of experiencing symptoms.
It is not known when the new Covid-19 vaccine trials vaccine will be completed and therefore when it will be presented for approval and therefore use.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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