COVID-19: AstraZeneca-Oxford University Vaccine Efficacy Jumps To 90 per cent

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In some good news with regards to COVID-19 vaccine development, AstraZeneca has now announced that the efficacy of its vaccine, being made in conjunction with Oxford University, has jumped to 90 per cent. Pune-based Serum Institute is AstraZeneca’s India partner.

In a statement issued on Monday, AstraZeneca said, “Positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalisations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine.”

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. The Company will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries.

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.”

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. 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. Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “fantastic news”.

World’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, Serum Institute has partnered with AstraZeneca, Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine for global supply.

“Importantly, from what we have heard the vaccine seems to prevent infection not just disease. This is important as the vaccine could reduce the spread of the virus as well as protect the vulnerable from severe disease,” infectious disease expert Prof Peter Horby from Oxford University told the media.

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