The pinnacle of AstraZeneca has prompt that the corporate’s adenovirus vaccine might present longer-lasting safety in opposition to COVID-19 particularly in older individuals than the mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna.
French CEO Pascal Soriot stated this may very well be a purpose why the U.Okay. hasn’t skilled the identical excessive ranges of hospitalizations as Europe, the place circumstances have surged in current months. However he stated extra information was wanted.
“It is actually attention-grabbing, once you have a look at the U.Okay., there was an enormous peak of infections, however not so many hospitalizations relative to Europe,” he informed BBC Radio 4.
“Within the U.Okay., this vaccine was used to vaccinate older individuals whereas in Europe initially individuals thought the vaccine does not work in older individuals,” he stated.
The pharma chief prompt that this may very well be as a result of AstraZeneca’s adenovirus vaccine supplies a greater T cell response than mRNA vaccines.
“The antibody response is what drives the rapid response or protection of the physique if you find yourself attacked by the virus,” Soriot stated. “And the T cell response takes a bit of longer to come back in. However it’s really extra sturdy; it lasts longer.”
The pharma chief stated AstraZeneca’s adenovirus COVID-19 vaccine “has been proven to stimulate T cells to the next diploma in older individuals.”
Whereas antibodies bind to the virus and cease it from getting into cells to trigger illness, their numbers wane over time after vaccination. There are a number of kinds of T cell, or white blood cells, that additionally play a task in combating infections. Some discover and kill contaminated cells, whereas others assist to provide particular antibodies to assault elements of the virus.
Pushed on whether or not growing hospitalizations in Europe have been linked to EU international locations not utilizing the adenovirus jab in older individuals, Soriot stated: “There is not any proof of something. We do not know. However we want extra information to investigate this and get the reply.”
Soriot was chatting with the BBC forward of the opening of a brand new £1 billion analysis and improvement facility that can accommodate greater than 2,200 scientists in Cambridge. The middle can be formally unveiled Tuesday by Prince Charles.