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AZ’s COVID-19 vaccine demonstrates efficacy rate of up to 90%

Across two dosing regimens, vaccine has average efficacy of 70%

AstraZeneca (AZ) has announced that its Oxford University-partnered COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222 has an average efficacy of 70%, according to an interim analysis of trials in the UK and Brazil.

The efficacy rate comes from a combined analysis of two dosing regimens of AZD1222. One dosing regimen demonstrated a vaccine efficacy rate of 90%, when the shot was given as a half dose and followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

A second dosing regimen, however, showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

The interim analysis was based on 131 COVID-19 cases among participants who either received the AZD1222 vaccine or a comparator meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with the planned vaccine supply,” said Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial.

Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech posted the final analysis of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2, which showed it to be 95% effective at preventing infections.

Meanwhile, Moderna also announced that its vaccine, mRNA-1273, had a 94.5% efficacy rate, based on an interim analysis from its phase 3 COVE study.

Although the current AZ results look less promising in comparison to the efficacy rates observed for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s candidate, AZD1222 has other benefits – including a low cost and easy storage requirements.

The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions for at least six months, while Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines need to be stored at far lower temperatures.

According to the BBC, AZ’s vaccine is also priced much lower, coming in at around £3 while Pfizer/BioNTech’s is reportedly priced at around £15 and Moderna’s around £25.

The UK government has already placed an order for 100 million doses of AZ’s vaccine, with additional supply deals in place for 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine and five million doses of Moderna’s mRNA-based candidate.

“The independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will carry out their crucial work to assess whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality once it receives the full data from Oxford/AstraZeneca,” said a UK government spokesperson

“If authorised, the NHS will begin to roll out the vaccine more widely, starting with those most at risk, in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice, and taking into account logistics and practicality,” the spokesperson added.

AZ added in a statement that it expects to manufacture up to three billion doses of AZD1222 in 2021 on a ‘rolling basis’, depending on regulatory approval.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd November 2020

From: Research

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