After Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine candidates show promising last stage results, Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine contender is now said to be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart, according to data from the late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil.
In another positive news from the COVID-19 vaccine world, the vaccine candidate developed by the UK’s Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been announced to have an average efficacy of 70.4 percent, according to interim analysis announced today. In trials, the vaccine’s effectiveness varied depending on the dose amounts given. When two full doses were given a month apart the effectiveness stood at 62 percent, but this rose to 90 percent when the vaccine was given first as a half dose, and then as a full dose.
No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed and it was well tolerated across both dosing regimens, it said. “This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” Pascal Soriot, Astra’s chief executive, said in a statement.
AstraZeneca will have 200 million doses by the end of 2020, with 700 million doses ready globally by the end of the first quarter of 2021, operations executive Pam Cheng said on Monday.
Compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Oxford vaccine has the advantage of being cheaper and easy to store, since it can be transported and handled at normal refrigerated temperatures. That would make the AstraZeneca shot easier to transport and store globally, particularly in lower and middle-income countries.
The Oxford vaccine trial involved over 23,000 participants in the UK and Brazil. Of the participants who received the vaccine, 30 developed COVID-19, compared to 101 participants who received the placebo. There were no hospitalizations or severe COVID-19 cases among participants who received the vaccine, AstraZeneca stated.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously said vaccines would be required to be at least 50 percent effective to gain its approval, which makes it possible for all thre candidates to be approved for emergency use soon enough.