The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca stops 70% of people developing Covid symptoms, a large-scale trial shows.
AstraZeneca said there were no serious safety events related to the vaccine and it was well tolerated across different dosing regimens. Efficacy ranged from 62% to 90% depending on the dosage given, the partners said. AstraZeneca and Oxford said the average efficacy in the analysis was 70%.
More than 20,000 volunteers participated in the trial, half in the UK, the rest in Brazil. There were 30 cases of Covid in people who had two doses of the vaccine and 101 cases in people who received a dummy injection. When volunteers were given two "high" doses the protection was 62%, but this rose to 90% when people were given a "low" dose followed by a high one. It's not clear why there is a difference. The vaccine trials ultimately will enroll as many as 60,000 participants globally.
AstraZeneca will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.
AstraZeneca will seek an ‘Emergency Use Listing’ from the World Health Organization(WHO) for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the company will be submitting a full analysis of the interim results for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said: “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.”
Given that Oxford jab is priced cheaper, and is easier to store and get to every corner of the world than the other two successful vaccines, it is set to play a key role in tackling the pandemic, if it is approved by regulators.
Last week, a vaccine developed Inc. and another one jointly by Pfizer Inc. Germany’s BioNTech were both found to be more than 90% effective in late-stage trials.
The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for global supply.
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