The Oxford Covid-19 vaccine shows a ‘strong immune response’ among the elderly as well as young people, scientists have said.

Data on the safety and immune responses among those taking part in phase two of the Oxford University trials has been submitted for peer review in a medical journal.

But the early findings have been discussed by Professor Andrew Pollard, director of Oxford Vaccine Group, before publication who noted the promising results across all age groups.

In a statement, Oxford University said: "These early results covering trial volunteers from the UK in the 56-69 and 70+ age groups have been submitted to a peer-review journal, and we hope to see their publication in the coming weeks.

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“Our ongoing trials will provide further data, but this marks a key milestone and reassures us that the vaccine is safe for use and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system in all adult groups.”

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca, the company jointly developing the Oxford vaccine, added: “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the Covid-19 disease severity is higher."

The vaccine is currently in a phase three clinical trial, which means the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine is being tested by thousands of participants across different countries.

Experts have predicted that the data from the trial could be presented to regulators within weeks.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday his 'central expectation' is that the majority of the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine could be under way in the first half of 2021.