Oxford coronavirus vaccine volunteer ‘felt nothing at all, no temperature, nothing’

Vaccine trial volunteer Sarah Hurst who has said said the results of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines set a “high bar” for the AstraZeneca study (Image: PA)

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An Oxford vaccine volunteer says she "felt nothing at all" during the trial and suffered no side effects.

The jab being produced by Oxford University and AstraZenaca has produced a "strong immune response" in older people, it was announced today

The optimistic findings have raised hopes of the UK returning to normal soon after eight months of lockdowns and restrictions.  

Volunteer Sarah Hurst, 47, from Oxfordshire, said she did not experience any adverse side-effects during the trial, adding: "I was so surprised.

"I said to them, 'I feel like I am in the placebo group because I feel nothing at all, no raised temperature, nothing', and they said, 'well we chose meningitis as the placebo because we thought it would provoke a reaction so that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference'.

"But I treated it as if I'd had the placebo anyway, so not going out and feeling confident just because I had it."

Sarah said the results of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines set a "high bar" for the AstraZeneca study
(Image: REUTERS)

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She said she signed up to the trial because she "wanted a vaccine as quickly as possible so we can live our lives again".

Sarah said the results of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines set a "high bar" for the AstraZeneca study.

She added: "It could be a bit disappointing if it got 80%, and you feel, 'oh, those other ones are better'. I am not biased in favour of a particular vaccine but people are going to prefer to have the one that's the most effective and it depends on what's available.

"I am really concerned about the Brexit end of the transition period, I have no confidence at all that we are going to get supplies, so if our result wasn't as good as the other two and we got 80%, I'd be happy to have that vaccine if that was all that was available. It would still be good. But I hope it's 90% or more."

How the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine works
(Image: Press Association Images)

Professor Andrew Pollard, the head of Oxford's vaccine trial team, said he is "absolutely delighted" with the latest trial results which suggest it produces a strong immune response in older adults, adding it is also "really well tolerated".

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: "The other thing that we found which I think is really important is the vaccine is really well tolerated in those who are over 55.

"We do know with these vaccines that adults tend to feel a bit ropey the day after they have been vaccinated… but that was very, very much less, particularly in those who are over 70.

"And that's absolutely great news because if it's well tolerated that's going to really help with rollout should we be able to show that the vaccine actually works."

It comes after reports vaccines could be given to 2.5million Brits by Christmas with a national roll-out possibly starting in two weeks.

Brits are expected to be immunised as part of the biggest ever vaccination programme in NHS history.

Administration of the vaccine via the health service will be supported by an army of up to 30,000 volunteers.

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