Explainer: How the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID vaccine works

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The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 In studies of more than 22,000 people in the UK and Brazil, AstraZeneca said in a November 23 press release.

Like Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and unlike Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA vaccines, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine uses a modified adenovirus as a vector.

This animation explains how the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine works.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine uses a genetically modified common cold virus
2. Spike protein gene is cut from the coronavirus
3. AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine uses a chimpanzee adenovirus as a vector
4. Vector injecting modified genetic payload into a human cell
5. Spike protein is displayed on the surface of the cell and triggers an immune response
6. Antibodies attacking a coronavirus

VOICEOVER (in English):
"The COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford uses a genetically modified common cold virus from chimpanzees, altered with blueprints for the coronavirus's spike protein."

"The coronavirus's outer coating is covered in spike proteins, which give the virus its crown-like appearance."

"The spike protein possesses receptor binding domains, or RBDs, that the virus uses to pry open receptors before penetrating the cellular membrane."

"The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine carries a gene with the code for the spike protein that the coronavirus uses to enter a human cell."

"The spike protein gene is cut from the coronavirus and inserted into a vector, a virus that is weakened so that it cannot grow inside the human body after injection."

"The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine's chimpanzee adenovirus vector was previously used to make an Ebola vaccine."

"The chimpanzee adenovirus is genetically modified so that it cannot infect people, while the gene with the code of the spike protein is inserted."

"Once the vector delivers this genetic code to a cell, it causes the cell to produce spike proteins."

"These spike proteins are harmless on their own, but they should trigger the body to mount an immune response. This response produces antibodies and memory cells that will recognize SARS-CoV-2, the actual virus that causes COVID-19."

SOURCES: AstraZeneca, Washington Post, BBC News
https://www.astrazeneca.com/content/astraz/media-centre/press-releases/2020/azd1222hlr.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/11/17/covid-vaccines-what-you-need-to-know/?arc404=true
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55040635