Chinese COVID Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, October 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) – An investigational COVID-19 vaccine appears safe and has triggered an immune response in healthy people, according to preliminary results from a small, early-stage clinical trial.

The study of the whole inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus (BBIBP-CorV) -based vaccine included more than 600 volunteers in China, aged 18 to 80. By day 42 after vaccination, all had antibody responses against the virus, researchers said.

The vaccine was safe and well tolerated at all doses tested, study officials reported. The most common side effect was pain at the injection site. There were no serious side effects.

The results were published on October 15 in Infectious Diseases The Lancet newspaper.

Similar results were reported in a previous trial for a different vaccine also based on the whole inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus. This trial was limited to people under the age of 60.

The new trial found that people 60 years and older responded more slowly to the vaccine. It took 42 days for the antibodies to be detected in each of them, compared to 28 days in those 18 to 59 years old.

Antibody levels were also lower in those aged 60 to 80 compared to young volunteers.

“Protecting the elderly is a key goal of a successful COVID-19 vaccine because this age group is at higher risk for serious illness from the disease. However, vaccines are sometimes less effective in this group because the system Immune weakens with age, ”said study co-author Xiaoming Yang, a professor at the Institute of Biologics of Beijing Company Limited.

“It is therefore encouraging to see that BBIBP-CorV induces antibody responses in people aged 60 and over, and we believe this warrants further investigation,” Yang said in a press release.

Since the trial was not designed to assess the effectiveness of the BBIBP-CorV vaccine, it is not possible to know whether the antibody response it elicited is strong enough to protect people against the. infection with the novel coronavirus.

Once the researchers complete a comprehensive analysis of the adult data, they plan to test the vaccine in children and adolescents under 18.

Larisa Rudenko, a researcher at the Institute for Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg, Russia, wrote an editorial accompanying the results.

She said more “studies are needed to determine whether inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are able to induce and maintain virus-specific T cell responses.”

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