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 (@AstraZeneca) November 23, 2020
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”.
I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-cost, logistically manageable & soon to be widely available, #COVID19 vaccine, will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime. Further details on this, will be provided this evening. https://t.co/KCr3GmROiW
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) November 23, 2020
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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