The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been shown to work as planned by new analysis.
A method to check the inoculation contains all the correct parts was developed by a team at Bristol University, providing greater evidence that the vaccine works.
Even though the research has not yet been peer reviewed, it has been hailed as a “wonderful example of cross-disciplinary collaboration”.
The vaccine is currently undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials to further establish the safety of the treatment.
It comes after confirmation the trials will continue after a man taking part died in Brazil. It is understood that the man was taking a placebo and not the active vaccine.
The new method of analysis allowed scientists to check that the vaccine was properly designed to replicate the parts of the COVID-19 make-up needed to train the immune system to fight the disease.
The study proved that the vaccine is correctly programmed to replicate the “spike protein” associated with COVID-19 that has been inserted into the immunisation shot.
This protein is what the body’s immune system will learn to attack – providing people with the biological tools needed to battle the virus.
Dr David Matthews, of Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, who led the research, said: “This is an important study as we are able to confirm that the genetic instructions underpinning this vaccine, which is being developed as fast as safely possible, are correctly followed when they get into a human cell.
“Until now, the technology hasn’t been able to provide answers with such clarity, but we now know the vaccine is doing everything we expected and that is only good news in our fight against the illness.”
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford and lead on the Oxford vaccine trial, added: “This is a wonderful example of cross-disciplinary collaboration, using new technology to examine exactly what the vaccine does when it gets inside a human cell.
“The study confirms that large amounts of the coronavirus spike protein are produced with great accuracy, and this goes a long way to explaining the success of the vaccine in inducing a strong immune response.”