"The populations at greatest risk of serious Covid-19 disease include people with existing health conditions and older adults", Dr. Maheshi Ramasamy of the University of Oxford, who worked on the study, said in a statement.
The results from an early phased randomised clinical trial of a Chinese vaccine for COVID-19 has proven to be safe and induces an antibody response in health volunteers aged 18 to 59 years.
These mRNA vaccines can be manufactured quickly but could face more distribution challenges and be slower to distribute than the Oxford vaccine. "It is essential that a COVID-19 vaccine can be effective across a broad age range particularly in older individuals where they are disproportionately at risk of COVID-19 disease". Biological E has also entered into an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutical for the latter's vaccine candidate, according to the website of Biological E.
In the first phase, 144 healthy volunteers were enrolled between April 16 and April 25, 2020.
This week, Pfizer has reported 94% efficacy in people aged over 65 years, and Moderna has said the effectiveness of its vaccine is consistent across subgroups. Scientists have said they expect different age groups to react differently to different vaccines - a big reason why they expect multiple vaccines to be necessary to protect all ages in the coming months and years.
The global goal for the clinical trial is 60,000 participants.
Ahmedabad-based Cadila Healthcare is now finishing phase-II trials on over 1,000 volunteers across nine sites while Dr.Reddy's Lab will soon begin an adaptive Phase-II and III trial of the Sputnik V vaccine developed in Russian Federation.
The next phase of the trials will therefore focus on these groups.
None of the Indian companies have released interim results.
Oxford University will start an initial analysis of data from its late-stage trial after 53 infections among its volunteers, the study's chief investigator said on Thursday. But for now, researchers are celebrating this reassuring early data. SII-ICMR and Bharat Biotech-ICMR are likely to finish their Phase-III efficacy trials before others in India.
Pfizer has a football field-sized facility for storing finished Covid-19 vaccines at about -70degC.
Besides, at hospitals and designated immunisation sites, there will be a huge requirement of vials, syringes, gauze and alcohol swabs to administer the shot.
Storage of vaccines as several vaccine candidates have varying requirements.
For instance, Covishield, the Oxford vaccine developed by SII in Pune and Johnson and Johnson - Biological E vaccine requires storage at 2-8 degree Celsius temperature.
"We believe that this makes the vaccine suitable for emergency use during the pandemic", Zhu added.