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Phase II trial finds Chinese COVID-19 vaccine is safe, induces immune response

Beijing: A phase II clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, conducted in China, has found that it is safe and induces an immune response, a study published in The Lancet says.

Scientists, including those from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the trial sought to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate.

They said the results provide data from a wider group of participants than their earlier phase I trial, including a small sub-group of participants aged over 55 years and older.

However, the researchers cautioned that no participants in the current trial were exposed to the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, after vaccination. So they said it is not possible for the current study to determine whether the vaccine candidate effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In the trial, the researchers used a weakened human common cold virus (adenovirus, which infects human cells readily but is incapable of causing disease) to deliver the genetic material which codes for the novel Coronavirus spike protein into the cells.

The scientists said these cells then produced the Coronavirus spike protein, and travel to the body's lymph nodes where the immune system creates antibodies.

They said these antibodies then recognise the spike protein and fight off the Coronavirus.

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