British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, being developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, produces an immune response in both younger and older adults.

The drugmaker is currently performing the final Phase-3 trials, which involve wide-scale testing with tens of thousands of participants. The vaccine, named AZD1222, is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate.

“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher”, an AstraZeneca spokesman said, and added: “The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222”.

Work began on the Oxford vaccine in January. In July, AstraZeneca released its findings that showed the vaccine generated “robust immune responses” in a group of healthy adults aged between 18 and 55.

British health secretary Matt Hancock earelier said he was preparing logistics for a possible roll-out mostly in the first half of 2021.

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