The Covid vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca can protect 70.4% of individuals from becoming ill and up to 90% if a lower first dose is employed, results from the ultimate trial show.
The Oxford vaccine is the third to supply results, following Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna whose vaccines were made with a unique technology – AstraZeneca Covid vaccine shows average 70% effectiveness in preventing the virus.
Both of these reported almost 95% efficacy and Pfizer has applied for a license within the US and UK.
The Oxford vaccine is fridge-stable, very easy to move and may be used anywhere within the world. it’s also substantially cheaper, at about £3 a dose rather than around £20 for the others. it’ll therefore play a major role in tackling Covid if approved to be used by regulators.
Oxford/AstraZeneca have already shown that the vaccine works additionally in older people as in younger groups and is safe. There are early indications it’d also help stop transmission of the disease.
“The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time after we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by [Covid-19],” said Prof Sarah Gilbert from the University of Oxford, who has led the research.
The scientists said they might not fully explain why giving a low amount of the vaccine to start out with and following up with an enormous amount may be a better way of kicking the system into action and giving the strongest reaction.
Those given the half dose and full dose four weeks later were in a smaller group of whom 90% were protected against Covid.
Within the larger group, given two full doses, four weeks apart, efficacy was 62%. In the US, trials have given only two full doses and therefore the other regime will now must be tested.
The interim analysis relies on 131 infections among participants, half whom received the vaccine while the remainder, in a very control group, got a longtime meningitis shot.
The promising results from AstraZeneca come at a time of mounting concern over the way to distribute the vaccine equitably.
With an estimate that over 17bn doses is required globally, and with the danger some could also be spoiled, the world’s wealthiest countries have used their economic clout to over-procure potential vaccines, often from multiple candidates to push to the front of the queue.
AstraZeneca says it’ll make three billion doses next year.
AstraZeneca has said it’ll immediately apply for early approval of the vaccine where possible, and it’ll seek an emergency use listing from the globe Health Organization, so it can make the vaccine available in low-income countries.