Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine offers 70% protection

Henrietta Brewer
November 23, 2020

Almost 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be shipped and flown to developing countries next year in a "mammoth operation", the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Monday, as world leaders vowed to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines. The results are based on 131 COVID-19 cases seen in Phase-3 trial.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University said interim analysis from its phase three vaccine trial shows that the 70% effectiveness comes from combining two doses.

Health care workers take virus test samples at a testing site near Eilat
Health care workers take virus test samples at a testing site near Eilat

The news follows recent announcements that the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna were 95% effective. "In the one half-dose and one full dose regime it was, counterintuitively more effective - around 90% Doses given 1 month apart". However, where full doses (standard dose) were used both for the prime and booster doses, the efficacy was only 62%.

"We need all hands on deck as we get ready to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses, syringes and more personal protective equipment to protect frontline workers around the globe", said UNICEF'S Kadilli, who is working with the Pan American Health Organization and the International Air Transport Association.

"This vaccine's efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency", Pascal Soriot, Astra's chief executive, said in a statement.

The data showing a range of efficacy between 60% and 90% comes after U.S. rivals published interim data in recent weeks showing efficacy of more than 90%. The trial had enrolled over 24,000 participants from diverse racial and geographical groups in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa.

Those behind the vaccine say they will now "immediately" prepare to submit the data from the trials to regulators around the world. What do we know about Russia's COVID-19 vaccine candidate Sputnik V?

It will also seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization to speed up availability in low-income countries.

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