AstraZeneca-Oxford Vaccine 70% Effective
After further studies and more data collected, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine has been found to be 70% effective at preventing Covid-19. Further testing on a two-dose system shows it could increase to 90% effective. Andrew Pollard, who is leading the Astra-Oxford trials, said, “Our goal was to make sure we can have a vaccine that is accessible everywhere. I think we have actually managed to do that.”
The results of the large study were based on trials in the UK and Brazil. There were no severe cases of Covid-19 of those who did contract the disease, and there were no hospitalizations. There is another larger United States trial going on now which has 10,500 participants receiving the double dose vaccine. Astra’s head of biopharma research Mene Pangalos believes this trial will be pivotal for the approval of the vaccine in the United States. He says, “We need to share the data with the FDA, which we will do very quickly, and then we will work out what the most appropriate steps are.”
Some readers of this blog will note that Astra’s vaccine has a lower efficacy than Pfizer and Moderna, which we covered recently. However, there are some benefits of the Astra vaccine that cannot be ignored in terms of accessibility. This vaccine can be kept at refrigerator temperatures, whereas the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require freezing temperatures for long term storage. Additionally, the Astra shot is cheaper and they expect to have more than 300 million doses ready to ship in early 2021.
AstraZeneca has cautioned comparing efficacy rates of the different vaccines at this early of a stage, however Pangalos says, “I have little doubt that this vaccine is going to have a big impact globally.”
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