A phase II clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, conducted in China, has found that it is safe and induces an immune response, a study published in The Lancet says.
Scientists, including those from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said the results provide data from a wider group of participants than their phase I trial, including a small sub-group of participants aged over 55 years.
However, the researchers cautioned that no participants in the current trial were exposed to the novel Coronavirus after vaccination. So it is not possible for the current study to determine whether the vaccine candidate effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In the trial, the researchers used a weakened human common cold virus (adenovirus) to deliver the genetic material that codes for the novel coronavirus spike protein into the cells.
Scientists said 508 participants took part in the trial. Of these, 253 people received a high dose of the vaccine, 129 received a low dose, and 126 received a placebo.
The study noted that about two thirds of the participants were 18-44 years old, a quarter were aged 45-54 years, and 13 per cent were 55 years or older.
The findings revealed that 95 per cent (241/253) of the participants in the high dose group, and 91 per cent (118/129) of those in the low dose group showed either T cell or antibody immune responses at day 28 post-vaccination.
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