First human trial of COVID-19 vaccine finds it is safe: The Lancet
The first COVID-19 vaccine to reach phase 1 clinical trial has been found to be safe, well-tolerated, and able to generate an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in humans, according to new Chinese research published in the medical journal, The Lancet.
The study involved trial among 108 healthy adults. The Lancet reports that it demonstrates promising results after 28 days. The final results will be evaluated in six months. More trials are needed to tell whether the immune response it elicits effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection, the report mentions.
“These results represent an important milestone. The trial demonstrates that a single dose of the new adenovirus type 5 vectored COVID-19 (Ad5-nCoV) vaccine produces virus-specific antibodies and T cells in 14 days, making it a potential candidate for further investigation,” said Professor Wei Chen from the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology in Beijing, China, who steered the study, as quoted in The Lancet.
“However, these results should be interpreted cautiously. The challenges in the development of a COVD-19 vaccine are unprecedented, and the ability to trigger these immune responses does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine will protect humans from COVID-19. This result shows a promising vision for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but we are still a long way from this vaccine being available to all.”
The biggest issue in the battle against COVID-19 has been the lack of an effective vaccine. Over five million people have contracted the virus globally, and at least 343,983 have died till May 24, 2020. A vaccine would reopen the door to lives without social distancing and face masks.