On Monday 23rd November 2020, Drugmaker AstraZeneca announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine has shown an average efficacy of 70% in its large-scale trials—the latest of several vaccine trials to post their results this month.
A coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK can prevent 70.4% of people from getting Covid-19 and up to 90% if a lower dose is used, according to data. Oxford University and AstraZeneca have announced their jab is effective in preventing many people getting ill and it has been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly. There are early indications it might also help stop the spread of the disease.
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by [Covid-19]. “We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort, which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
In a statement, Prof Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial, 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 maybe 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.”
He said that if people were first given a half-dose of the Oxford vaccine followed by a full dose a month later, they had 90% protection.
“There is just a hint in the data at the moment that those who got that regime with higher protection, there is a suggestion that it was also able to reduce asymptomatic infection,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. “If that is right, we might be able to halt the virus in its tracks and stop transmitting between people.”
“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.”
The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.
It also has orders for 40 million doses of shots of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to have 95% efficacy. Another vaccine from Moderna has 95% efficacy, according to trial data.
These are among the several vaccines which have been announced so far. We would provide further discussions in a future article where we would provide information on the various vaccines announced so far.
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