World Health Organization experts provide guidance on use of the Oxford vaccine | University of Oxford

World Health Organization experts provide guidance on use of the Oxford vaccine

10 February 2021

WHO SAGE advises use of ChAdOx1- nCov19 to prevent coronavirus disease in adults from 18 years of age.

  • Advises 2 doses at 8-12 weeks interval based on immunogenicity increase with a longer interdose interval
  • Vaccine shown to be highly effective and safe, preventing hospitalisation from COVID-19
  • WHO SAGE says it is safe and likely to be efficacious in older adults and recommends its use in this age group

The World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) yesterday produced guidelines for the emergency use of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford with its partner AstraZeneca.

The WHO has recommended that two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 be administered at an 8- to 12-week interval in people aged 18 years and older. This dosing regimen was shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, with no severe cases and no hospitalisations from COVID-19 more than 14 days after the second dose.

The new guidance marks a key step towards the University and AstraZeneca’s goal of providing global access to the vaccine, which is being made available on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic. The vaccine is easily manufactured, transported and stored at domestic fridge temperature (2-8 degrees C), so can be easily administered in existing healthcare settings, allowing for the vaccine to be deployed rapidly around the world.

Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said:
‘The new guidance from WHO is an important milestone in extending access to the Oxford-AZ vaccine to all corners of the world and providing further endorsement that after rigorous scrutiny by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts the vaccine can be used to help protect populations from the coronavirus pandemic.’

Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said:
‘It is excellent news that the WHO has recommended use of the SARS CoV-2 vaccine first produced in Oxford. This decision paves the way to more widespread use of the vaccine to protect people against COVID-19 and gain control of the pandemic.’

Notes to editors:

For further information please contact the University of Oxford press office at news.office@admin.ox.ac.uk or on +44 (0)1865 280528

For more about the Oxford vaccine project and team: www.ox.ac.uk/covid-vaccine

FAQ's

Regulatory authorisation
https://www.research.ox.ac.uk/Article/2020-12-30-oxford-vaccine-regulatory-faq

Phase 3 trial data
https://www.research.ox.ac.uk/Article/2020-12-08-phase-3-trial-data-publication-faq

Previous papers published on this project:

For detailed information about the vaccine trial: covid19vaccinetrial.co.uk

Images: Credit: University of Oxford, John Cairns

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About the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, now known as AZD1222 co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech, is being trialled by the University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group. The team started working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus in January 2020.

Developed at the Jenner Institute, the recombinant adenovirus vector ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 uses a viral vector based on a weakened version of the common cold virus (adenovirus) containing the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, which primes the immune system to attack COVID-19 if it later infects the body.

Over 50,000 people to date have taken part in clinical trials of The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine sponsored by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, and many more have received the vaccine through public vaccination programmes following emergency use licensure. It has been shown to be safe and well tolerated, although it can cause temporary side effects, such as a temperature, flu-like symptoms, headache or sore arm.

The potential vaccine entered Phase III clinical trials in May to study safety and efficacy in healthy volunteers. In total, nearly 24,000 volunteers have joined the University of Oxford sponsored trial, in sites around the UK (approximately 12,000 volunteers), Brazil (approximately 10,000 volunteers) and South Africa (approximately 2,000 volunteers). Interim efficacy and safety data were published in The Lancet in December, including an extensive safety database of over 74,000 ‘person months’ of safety data follow-up.

Our partners, AstraZeneca, have committed to delivering billions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine across the globe in a broad, equitable, and timely way at no profit during the pandemic. This includes an agreement with the European Commission to supply up to 400 million doses, starting in early 2021 following the regulatory approval from the European Medicines Agency, with tens of millions of doses due to be supplied in February and March.

For more information on this commitment, visit: https://www.astrazeneca.com/content/astraz/media-centre/articles/2021/astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-european-union-supply-commitment.html

Not for profit information:
As part of our agreement with our partner AstraZeneca, the vaccine will be supplied on a not-for-profit basis for the duration of the pandemic and in perpetuity for low- and middle-income countries, with any future royalties received by the University of Oxford being re-invested in the medical sciences.

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