Coronavirus vaccine update: Results show Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective

A volunteer receives an injection at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, as part of Africa’s first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial developed at the University of Oxford in Britain in conjunction with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. (AP photo/FILE)

The University of Oxford and Britain’s AstraZeneca announced on Monday that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by them in collaboration could be approximately 90% effective against the novel coronavirus without having any serious side effects.

The University of Oxford, in a release, said on Monday that the interim data from the Phase III trials of its vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, show that it is effective in preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) while offering a high level of protection.

As per the release, the vaccine developed by Oxford University was 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart. In the second dosing regimen, the Covid-19 vaccine exhibited 62% efficacy when two full doses were administered at least a month apart. On an average, the combined analysis showed an efficacy of 70%, AstraZeneca stated. The numbers revealed are from data gathered during the vaccine candidate’s late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil, it added.

Importantly, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was well tolerated and had “no serious safety events”, it said.

While revealing the results of the vaccine trial, University of Oxford said in a tweet that the milestone meant that it was a step closer to supplying the Coronavirus vaccine around the world.

Talking about the much-awaited results, Pascal Soriot, Astra’s chief executive, said that the efficacy and safety of the vaccine confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and would have an immediate impact on pandemic that has so far claimed over 1.3 million lives worldwide.

Following the release of Oxford-AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine’s trial results, Adar Poonawalla, CEO and owner of Serum Institute of India (SII), took to Twitter to laud the breakthrough and wrote that Covishield (the brand name of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being mass produced by SII) will soon be widely available.

Earlier, Pfizer Inc had revealed that the final results of the late-stage of its Covid-19 vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech SE showed that it was 95% effective, and in a proverbial race to the finish line, applied for an emergency regulatory approval in the US. It also also confident that authorities in Britain could give emergency approval to its Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as soon as this week, evident from the fact that UK’s National Health Service (NHS) had been told to be prepared to begin administering the vaccine by December 1.

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