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Researchers from across the Medical Sciences Division are working hard to combat the COVID-19 crises. With particular strengths in infectious diseases and international health, we are well placed to contribute to better understanding and effectively controlling the epidemic. We have a long history of responding to crises, in the UK and around the world and are leaders in emergency vaccine development. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, our scientists performed the world’s first human Ebola vaccine studies, starting them before any other university or company. Our researchers, in collaboration with partners across the globe, are working to develop an effective vaccine and drugs to target this virus, and have already introduced innovative public health measures and collaborative online tools that are being used in hospitals here and abroad.

Coronavirus-related news from across the Medical Sciences Division

Urgent need for COVID-19 vaccine equity: UN-Oxford research

COVID-19 vaccine programmes are expected to cost poorer countries an additional 56.6% on health budgets, compared with just 0.8% on wealthy countries’ health expenditure, according to new data from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the University of Oxford.

How did people in Europe and SE Asia experience the first COVID-19 wave?

An international team, led by Phaik Yeong Cheah, conducted an anonymous online survey from May-June 2020, asking 5,058 people in Thailand, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Italy and Slovenia to share their experiences. Anne Osterrieder and colleagues in the Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health (Nuffield Department of Medicine) report the unequal impacts of public health measures, and the prevalence of ‘fake news’.

New research studies to help diagnose and treat Long COVID funded by NIHR

Three projects at Oxford have received funding from NIHR to assess breathlessness in Long COVID patients, investigate the impact of Long COVID on families, and examine the role of vaccines in Long COVID.

ISARIC COVID-19 clinical database passes ½ million patient records mark

COVID-19 has exposed our vulnerability to pandemic infections and shown what works, and what does not. It has tested the effectiveness of the Oxford-based global, open-source, collaborative approach set up 10 years ago to prevent illness and deaths from infectious disease outbreaks: ISARIC, the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium.

T-cell ‘training grounds’ behind robust immune system response seen in adenovirus vaccines

Adenovirus vaccine vectors, such as the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 construct which has risen to prominence as a major vaccine for COVID-19, may generate robust long-term immune system responses, according to scientists from the Universities of Oxford and the Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen, Switzerland.

Lateral flow tests are 95% effective at detecting Covid-19 when used at the onset of symptoms

A new study by researchers at the University of Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, and the Medical University of Graz, has found that lateral flow tests detect Covid-19 with similar accuracy to laboratory-based PCR tests, providing they are used at the onset of infection and soon after symptoms start.

Long COVID cases under-reported in NHS GP records

Using the full pseudonymised GP records of 57.9 million patients in England, researchers at Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have found that formally recorded diagnoses of Long COVID are substantially lower than previous survey estimates for the same condition.