The ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine is a vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford in partnership with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The vaccine uses a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that infects chimpanzees, which has been modified so that it cannot replicate in humans, and has been engineered to carry a piece of genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
When the vaccine is administered, it enters the cells of the body and instructs them to produce a protein that is found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The immune system recognizes this protein as foreign and mounts an immune response against it, creating antibodies that can protect against future infections with the virus.
The ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be effective in clinical trials, with an overall efficacy of around 70% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19. It has also been shown to be safe, with no serious adverse events reported in the clinical trials. The vaccine is being used in many countries around the world, and has been approved for emergency use by several regulatory agencies, including the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).