Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine shows an average effectiveness of 70%

A test tube labelled vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

LONDON — British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Monday said an interim analysis of clinical trials showed its coronavirus vaccine has an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against the virus.

It comes after a string of encouraging vaccine results in recent weeks, following late-stage trial readouts from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

It is hoped a Covid vaccine could help to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1.3 million lives worldwide.

AstraZeneca said its vaccine, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, was assessed over two different dosing regimens.

One showed an effectiveness of 90% when trial participants received a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart. The other dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimens found average vaccine effectiveness of 70%. No hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine.

A total of 131 Covid-19 cases were assessed in the interim analysis.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said the development marked an “important milestone” in the fight against the global health crisis.

“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,” Soriot said.

“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”

AstraZeneca said it would immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to health authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives,” Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said in a statement.

“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 planned vaccine supply.”

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