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LankaWeb – Coronavirus: Oxford scientists hail their 'vaccine for all the world'


Posted on December 30th, 2020
Courtesy The Times (UK)
Oxford University scientists said that they had created a vaccine for the world” as trial results showed that their jab worked well enough to apply immediately for regulatory approval.
The vaccine involves two injections, administered about a month apart. The results suggest that using a lower first dose — which was done by accident — could increase efficacy to 90 per cent. That finding relied, however, on limited data and may be amended.
Overall, a trial involving 24,000 people suggested that the vaccine was about 70 per cent effective. It prevented severe disease and there are promising early signs that it might also block transmission of the virus. No dangerous side-effects were reported and the medical regulator has begun to review safety and efficacy data.

LankaWeb – Approval of Oxford vaccine hailed as game-changer in Covid fight


Posted on December 30th, 2020
Courtesy The Times (UK)
Astrazeneca chief promises 2 million doses a week
The Covid vaccine developed by Oxford University and the drugmaker Astrazeneca has been approved for use in Britain, with government advisers saying that a single shot could achieve 70 per cent protection.
The jab was authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) this morning amid mounting concerns over the new fast-spreading coronavirus strain and rising hospital admissions. The first injections are due on Monday.
The Oxford vaccine requires two shots for maximum protection but the strategy for the immunisation campaign has been changed to prioritise giving as many vulnerable people as possible their first dose. Three weeks after getting a first shot of the Oxford vaccine people should have 70 per cent protection against symptomatic Covid, government scientific advisers said today.

LankaWeb – Vaccines and our own antibodies hold fast against mutant Covid army


Posted on December 27th, 2020
Courtesy The Times (UK)
Science offers hope despite fears  about the effect of quick-spreading coronavirus variants
Borders closed, lockdowns were tightened and dire warnings of aggressive new outbreaks were issued. Scientists worried about the vulnerability of children and politicians agonised over shutting schools.
There was scant relief on the coronavirus front last week, as the discovery of an alarming pair of mutant strains played havoc with the Christmas plans — not to mention the fraying nerves — of Britons, South Africans and a rapidly growing number of other nationalities.
Yet a singular effort by a weary microbiologist in Texas offered at least a glimpse of hope that the mutant army of variant coronavirus strains will ultimately be defeated by science.

LankaWeb – Britain has millions of coronavirus antibody tests, but they don't work


Posted on April 6th, 2020
Courtesy The Times (UK)
Ministers had hoped tests would pave way for an easing of lockdown restrictions
None of the antibody tests ordered by the government is good enough to use, the new testing chief has admitted.
John Newton said that tests ordered from China were able to identify immunity accurately only in people who had been severely ill and that Britain was no longer hoping to buy millions of kits off the shelf.
Instead government scientists hope to work with companies to improve the performance of antibody tests. Professor Newton said he was optimistic” that one would come good in months.

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