As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the world, every single nation is rushing to figure out how we can protect ourselves, vaccine or otherwise. Vaccines are currently being created and quickly launching into a testing phase, faster than ever before. Among those vaccines, there is one that was developed by the University of Oxford, and is showing promising signs after being tested on monkeys.
The vaccine was reportedly tested on six monkeys in late March, by government scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Hamilton, Montana. The six monkeys– of the rhesus macaque variety– were given the vaccine that was originally produced by the Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group. These monkeys were then exposed to the Coronavirus, mingling with other monkeys who did have the virus and were known to have infected other monkeys previously. Yet, the six monkeys reportedly suffered no ill effects after being exposed to the Coronavirus. The monkeys remained healthy for 28 days following the vaccine, as originally reported by the New York Times.
The head of the Virus Ecology Unity at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory said that “The rhesus macaque is pretty much the closest thing we have to humans.” We reportedly share 93% DNA similarities with the macaque, thus this undoubtedly promising but still cannot be cause for celebration just yet.
This particular vaccine is called hAdOx1 nCoV-19 and it’s just begun human trials on Thursday, April 23rd and the human trials will only wrap up in September.
This is just one of 80 Coronavirus vaccines in the works right now.