Ukraine negotiating with all potential manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccine

Preliminary results of early- to mid-stage trials showed this week that it triggered a quick immune response but lower levels of antibodies than those seen in people who have recovered from Covid-19.

Competition has intensified among pharmaceutical companies racing to develop a Covid-19 shot, with two vaccines - one by United States company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another by U.S. firm Moderna - publishing large-scale trial data this month that showed their jabs were around 95 percent effective against Covid-19.

It's possible the vaccine actually prevented infection, and not just the resulting illness, but the results so far don't show that, experts say.

They had their immune responses assessed on the day of the vaccination, then several more times over the coming weeks. "In this study, we have been trying to examine the immune responses of older adults and address the question of whether, as you get older, the immune system is less able to respond to the coronavirus vaccine that's being developed here at Oxford", said chief investigator of the study, Professor Andrew Pollard (University of Oxford).

Besides the recipients of the Sinopharm jabs, authorities in Zhejiang said they had made a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the privately owned pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotec available to high-risk groups in the east China province under the emergency use scheme.

"As a result, it is crucial that COVID-19 vaccines are tested in this group who are also a priority group for immunization", he said in a news release from the journal The Lancet.

"One of the most exciting things from our study was that the vaccine stimulated really good antibody production".

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Earlier this week, two American drug-makers announced that their separate COVID-19 vaccine candidates were 95 percent effective against the disease.

Pollard reportedly added that there wasn't "any competition" against other vaccines.

Larger studies are now underway to evaluate immunogenicity, safety and efficacy in older adults with a wider range of comorbidities.

"The robust antibody and T-cell responses seen in older people in our study are encouraging", Oxford University's Dr. Maheshi Ramasamy, a co-author of The Lancet study, told CBS News.

No serious adverse health events related to the vaccine were seen in the participants and older people were found to have fewer side effects (such as fatigue and muscle ache) than younger participants.

He added it was still too early to determine whether their vaccine could effectively prevent COVID-19.

"We will need all of them to protect people around the globe", he said, per the BBC.

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