Oxford Covid vaccine works in all ages, trials suggest

Oxford Covid vaccine works in all ages, trials suggest

One of the world’s leading Covid-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in older adults as well as the young, its developers say, raising hopes of protection for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus that has caused social and economic chaos around the world.

Neither Oxford University nor its commercial partner AstraZeneca would release the data from the early trials showing the positive effects, which are being submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. But AstraZeneca confirmed the basic findings about the vaccine it calls AZD1222, which were shared at a closed academic meeting.

The phase 2 trials have shown that people over the age of 56 – and some over 70 – produced the same sort of antibody response as younger volunteers. Whether older people would be protected has always been a key question for the vaccines being developed. The body’s natural immune system and therefore its ability to fight any virus weakens with age, which is why the Covid death rate rises in older people.