In this September 9, 2020 image, a vaccine marked with a test tube can be seen in front of the AstraZeneca logo.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
LONDON – Developed by UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University, the coronavirus vaccine is the first whose late-stage study results have been independently reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The study, published Tuesday in The Lancet, replicated study results for the vaccine, which showed an average of 70% effectiveness in protecting against the coronavirus.
It also confirmed the results for the dosage regimens used in the studies: 62% effectiveness for two full doses and 90% effectiveness for the half-then-full dosage regimen.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Oxford vaccination professor who led this coronavirus vaccine project called it a "really good day for the UK, this is probably the best day we've had in 2020".
"Not only are we seeing the first introduction of NHS vaccinations against Covid-19 today, but we can also present our data to you from our side in a full peer-reviewed publication with all the information that people have requested about us," said the professor Sarah Gilbert.
"And we now see that the vaccine is safe, highly effective, and we also know it can be made in large quantities and at a low price," Gilbert said, adding that hopefully the vaccine will get regulatory approval in the coming weeks . "
Study age groups
Trial data, running through November 4, were analyzed from 23,745 adult participants in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. About 82% of the study participants were between 18 and 55 years old.
People aged 56 and over were recruited to participate later. Oxford University said the vaccine's effectiveness in this older age group cannot be assessed yet but will be included in future analyzes as more data become available.
The age groups tested in the studies were a problem for White House chief of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, and others in the US, who noted that the 90% effectiveness rate was only reported for a lower risk group was numbered 2,741 people under 55 years of age.
The vaccine was shown to be safe, according to the Lancet study. Only three of the 23,745 participants had "serious adverse events potentially related to a vaccine" over an average of 3.4 months.
All three have since recovered or are recovering and are still part of the process.