Developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, the vaccine can prevent 70.4% of people from receiving Covid-19, and up to 90% when a lower dose is used
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AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced Monday that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate is 90% effective at preventing infections, according to data from a late-stage clinical trial in the UK and Brazil.
An interim analysis from the Phase 3 vaccine study found the experimental shot to be 90% effective when given as a half dose and a full dose a month later. The effectiveness drops to 62% when two full doses are given one month apart.
The combined analysis of both dosage regimens showed an average effectiveness of 70.4%, Oxford University and AstraZeneca
"These results show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives," said Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the Oxford Vaccine Trial, in a statement.
"Excitingly, we have found that one of our dosage regimens can be about 90% effective. If that dosage regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with the planned vaccine supply," added Pollard.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccine Science at Oxford University, said: "Today's announcement brings us one step closer to the time we can use vaccines to end the havoc caused by SARS-CoV-2."
Read: AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine shows an "encouraging" immune response in older adults
AstraZeneca said there were no serious safety events related to the vaccine and that it was well tolerated across both dosing regimens. Late-stage clinical trials of the vaccine are continuing in the United States.
AstraZeneca's shares fell 1.7% in early London trading on Monday.
The news from AstraZeneca comes days after Pfizer
and its German partner BioNTech
applied for emergency approval of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the US on Friday, which is 95% effective.
Read: Pfizer and partner BioNTech are filing for emergency approval for the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday
has said that its vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective and that the company is also expected to apply for an emergency clearance shortly.
AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate can be stored at normal refrigerated temperatures without the supercooled storage required for the Pfizer vaccine.
“From a logistical point of view, it is extremely important that storage can be achieved at a normal cooling temperature of around -3 degrees. This makes it much more scalable and therefore easier to deliver on a global scale, ”said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK.
UBS analysts said AstraZeneca will now attempt to forward its pooled data to regulators, who have the option to grant conditional or early approval.
"Given FDA guidelines, the US is unlikely to be one of them, and the vaccine doesn't appear to be as effective as the mRNA vaccines." However, storage requirements and production capacity are a plus, ”the UBS analysts wrote in a statement to clients on Monday.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was "fantastic news" that data on Monday showed a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University could be up to 90% effective.
"We have ordered 100 million cans and if everything goes well, most of the rollout will take place in the new year."
More than 20,000 volunteers were involved, half in the UK and the rest in Brazil. The interim analysis was based on 131 infections among volunteers who received the vaccine and those in a control group who were given a meningitis shot.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University said they had not found serious Covid-19 cases in any of the 20,000 people who received the shot in clinical trials in the UK and Brazil.
AstraZeneca said it was making "rapid progress" in manufacturing, with a capacity of up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 on a rolling basis pending regulatory approval.
In parallel, Oxford is submitting the full analysis of the Phase 3 interim data for independent scientific review and publication.