Oxford Covid-19 vaccine questions and answers: what do the results show so far and what happens next?

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Is it different from Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

Yes. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.

Conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of the virus, but mRNAs only use the genetic code of the virus.

An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens.

These antigens are recognized by the immune system and prepare it to fight against the coronavirus.

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No virus is needed to create an mRNA vaccine. This means that the rate at which the vaccine can be produced is accelerated.

On November 20, however, Pfizer / BioNTech had sent its vaccine for emergency approval to the United States. They are the first pharmaceutical organization to seek such an authorization for a coronavirus vaccine, and approval would mean the first shipment will leave “ within hours ”. This suggests that the British could receive the Pfizer in early mid-December.

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What about antibodies and T cells?

Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines have been shown to elicit both an antibody and T cell response.

Antibodies are proteins that bind to foreign invaders in the body and tell the immune system to take action.

T cells are a type of white blood cell that hunt down infected cells in the body and destroy them.

Almost all effective vaccines induce both responses.

The Oxford vaccine induces strong antibody and T cell responses in people of all ages, the data show.

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Can the Oxford vaccine be manufactured on a large scale?

Yes. The UK government got 100 million doses under its contract, enough for most of the population.

UK Vaccine Task Force Leader Kate Bingham said she was confident it could be produced on a large scale.

Experts are hoping the jab could be ready to launch and deploy soon.

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