A test-tube styled vaccine image in front of the AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken September 9, 2020
Rovich’s Given | Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said on Monday that an interim analysis of clinical trials showed that a coronavirus vaccine had an average effectiveness of 70% in protecting against the virus.
This comes after a series of encouraging vaccine results in recent weeks, after last-phase trial readings from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
The Covid vaccine is hoped to help end the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide.
AstraZeneca said its vaccine, which was developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has been evaluated on two different dosage regimens.
One of them showed 90% effectiveness when trial participants received a half dose, followed by at least a full dose for a month. The other dosing regimen showed 62% effectiveness when given as at least two full doses over a period of one month.
A combined analysis of both dosing regimens found the average vaccine efficacy to be 70%. Hospitalization or severe illnesses were not reported in the participants receiving the vaccine.
A total of 131 Covid-19 cases were evaluated in the interim analysis.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Suriot said this development marked an “important milestone” in the fight against the global health crisis.
“The efficacy and safety of this vaccine confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate effect on this public health emergency,” said Suriot.
“Moreover, our simple supply chain for the vaccine, our pledge, our commitment to non-profit, and our commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means that it will be affordable, globally available, and will provide hundreds of millions of doses upon approval.”
AstraZeneca said it will promptly prepare a regulatory filing of the data to health authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.
Professor Andrew Pollard, chief researcher of the Oxford vaccine trial, said in a statement: “These results show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.”
“Interestingly, we found that one of our dosing regimens could be approximately 90% effective and if this dosing regimen were used, more people could be vaccinated with the planned vaccine.”
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