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AstraZeneca’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine was safe and produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials in healthy volunteers, data showed on Monday (July 20).

The vaccine, called AZD1222 and under development by AstraZeneca and scientists at Oxford University, did not prompt any serious side effects and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses, according to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal.

Oxford and AstraZeneca are collaborating with clinical partners around the world as part of a global clinical programme to trial the Oxford vaccine.

The global programme is made up of a Phase III trial in the US enrolling 30,000 patients, a paediatric study, as well as Phase III trials in low-to-middle income countries including Brazil and South Africa which are already underway.

The UK is already said to have ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that he could not promise there would be successful vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the end of this year, saying “we’re not there yet” even as Britain lines up supplies.

“To say that I’m 100 per cent confident that we’ll get a vaccine, this year or indeed next year, is alas, just an exaggeration. We’re not there yet,” Johnson said after the UK announced supply deals for two more vaccines under development.

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