Experts skeptical after researchers report positive vaccine results

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In a study published in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers said their vaccine was well-tolerated and generated an immune response against the novel coronavirus.The vaccine, developed by CanSino Biological Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, was tested in 108 healthy adults ages 18 to 60 in Wuhan, China, none of whom were infected with the virus. All the participants received injections at low, middle or high doses, and no “serious” side effects were reported, according to Wei Chin of the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and colleagues, who ran the trial.Weak responsesStill, almost half of vaccine recipients reported fever, with 44% reporting fatigue and 39% reporting a headache. Overall, 9% of patients reported side effects that were severe enough to have potentially “prevented activity.”These side effects are “not a good safety sign,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, he said, the vaccine did not elicit a strong immune response. According to the study, about half of recipients in the low- and middle-dose groups developed neutralizing antibodies, which can bind to the coronavirus and neutralize its effects. About three-quarters of people in the high-dose group developed antibodies, but researchers also noted some …

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