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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

Oxford vaccine saved most lives in its first year of rollout

When the University of Oxford developed a vaccine that was effective against COVID-19, ensuring that it could be rolled out globally and in perpetuity for low- and middle-income countries was of paramount importance.

Novel all-in-one vaccine developed to tackle future coronavirus threats

Up to $30 million in funding has been announced by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to bring a new nanoparticle vaccine offering protection against a range of coronaviruses to clinical trial.

COVID-19 vaccine protects people of all body weights from hospitalisation and death, a study of 9 million adults in England finds

Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are effective against severe disease for people who are underweight, overweight, or who have obesity, finds new research published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, led by researchers at the University of Oxford.

Taking a break from immune-suppressing medicines doubles the antibody response to COVID-19 booster vaccination

The Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit at Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) played a key role in the Vaccine Response On Off Methotrexate (VROOM) study which found that pausing immune-suppressing medicines such as methotrexate can increase the response to COVID-19 booster jabs.

Five ways the pandemic has affected routine medical care

Since the beginning of the pandemic, COVID has infected at least a third of the UK population and is estimated to have factored in the deaths of almost 200,000 people in the UK. But critically, COVID has also had a devastating impact on our healthcare systems. While this was expected, new evidence is beginning to reveal the scope of the issue – in particular the effects for people living with long-term health conditions.

Higher rate of COVID-19 death before vaccination linked to certain common inflammatory immune conditions

People with certain inflammatory immune conditions affecting the joints, bowel and skin, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may have been more at risk of dying or needing hospital care if they got COVID-19 before vaccination compared with the general population, according to a new study published in The Lancet Rheumatology with the involvement of researchers from the University of Oxford.

Long COVID: vaccination could reduce symptoms, new research suggests

While evidence suggests that people who are vaccinated before they get COVID are less likely to develop long COVID than unvaccinated people, the effectiveness of vaccination on existing long COVID has been less clear.

Com-COV vaccine study to research third dose booster options for 12-to-15-year-olds

Researchers running the University of Oxford-led Com-COV programme have launched a further study of COVID-19 vaccination schedules in young people aged 12 to 15 – with a focus on assessing different options for a third dose booster vaccination.

Population-scale study highlights ongoing risk of COVID-19 in some cancer patients despite vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination is effective in most cancer patients, but the level of protection against COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and death offered by the vaccine is less than in the general population and vaccine effectiveness wanes more quickly.

Fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose provides stronger immunity boost than third dose, shows UK study

COVID-19 vaccines given as fourth doses in the UK offer excellent boosting immunity protection, according to the latest results from a nationwide NIHR-supported study.