Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 coronavirus vaccine, developed by teams at the University of Oxford, has been shown to trigger a robust immune response in healthy adults aged 56-69 and those over 70 years of age.

A scientist from the Jenner Institute processing blood samples © © Credit: University of Oxford, John Cairns

Our vaccine work is progressing quickly. To ensure you have the latest information or to find out more about the trial, please visit the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine web hub or visit the COVID-19 trial website.

The data, published today in The Lancetsuggest that one of the groups most vulnerable to serious illness, and death from COVID-19, could build immunity.

Older adults have been shown to be at higher risk from COVID-19 and should be considered to be a priority for immunisation should any effective vaccine be developed for the disease. Reporting on data from a Phase II trial of the ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 vaccine, the authors write that volunteers in the trial demonstrate similar neutralising antibody titres, and T cell responses across all three age groups (18-55, 56-79, and 70+).

During the Phase 2 trial the vaccine has been evaluated in 560 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18-55 years, 56-69 years and aged 70 or over. Volunteers received 2 doses of the vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or a placebo MenACWY vaccine. No serious adverse health events related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 were seen in these volunteers.

These data are consistent with the Phase I data reported for healthy adults aged 18-55 early this year.

Dr Maheshi Ramasamy, Investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group and Consultant Physician said:

‘Older adults are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination, because they are at increased risk of severe disease, but we know that they tend to have poorer vaccine responses.’

‘We were pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well tolerated in older adults; it also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers. The next step will be to see if this translates into protection from the disease itself.’

For most vaccines, older adults do not exhibit as strong a response as younger adults, and vaccine-induced antibodies commonly display a lower protective capacity. The data reported today are particularly promising, as they show that the older individuals in this study, who are more prone to serious illness and death from COVID-19, are showing a similar immune response to younger adults.

Dr Angela Minassian, Investigator at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases said:

‘Inducing robust immune responses in older adults has been a long-standing challenge in human vaccine research.’

‘To show this vaccine technology is able to induce these responses, in the age group most at risk from severe COVID-19 disease, offers hope that vaccine efficacy will be similar in younger and older adults’.

Furthermore, the vaccine was less likely to cause local reactions at the injection site and symptoms on the day of vaccination in older adults than in the younger group., demonstrating that assessment of the efficacy of the vaccine is warranted in all age groups.

The Phase III trials of the ChAdOx1 nCov-2019 vaccine are ongoing, with early efficacy readings possible in the coming weeks.

Similar stories

Oxford University researchers release cheap, quick COVID-19 antibody test

COVID-19

The new easy-to-produce test detects coronavirus spike-protein binding antibodies in people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

AstraZeneca publish primary analysis from US trial of coronavirus vaccine

COVID-19

Our partners AstraZeneca have today announced the high-level results from the primary analysis of their Phase III trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine in the US. They confirm that the vaccine efficacy is consistent with the interim analysis results announced on Monday 22 March 2021.

USA, Chile and Peru interim trial data show Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and highly effective

COVID-19

Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine 79% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 overall. Vaccine 100% effective against severe or critical symptomatic COVID-19. No safety concerns reported

COVID-19: how to tackle vaccine hesitancy among BAME groups

COVID-19 Public Engagement

Samantha Vanderslott, Andrew Pollard and Seilesh Kadambari discuss vaccine uptake among Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in an article for The Conversation.

Coronavirus vaccination linked to substantial reduction in hospitalisation, real-world data suggests

COVID-19

The first study to describe the effects in real-world communities of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has been reported in a pre-print publication today, showing a clear reduction in the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 amongst those who have received the vaccine.

Oxford University extends COVID-19 vaccine study to children

COVID-19 Research

The University of Oxford, together with three partner sites in London, Southampton and Bristol, is to launch the first study to assess the safety and immune responses in children and young adults of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine.