They claim that it prevents serious diseases by coronavirus and hospitalizations. It is already manufactured in ten sites around the globe. Read more details.
“A vaccine for the world ”to fight the coronavirus for the price of a cup of coffee. The scientists of the Oxford University, in collaboration with the laboratory AstraZeneca, announced on Monday morning that their tests had worked well enough to ask for regulatory approval immediately. The results will be sent to a scientific journal to be analyzed by their peers but they arrived on Saturday night, in a climate of scientific euphoria.
Unlike its competitor Pfizer, it does not need a freezer at 70 degrees below zero to be maintained in its distribution, but a common refrigerator and in Great Britain the vaccine will be free. The first doses could be received by the British before Christmas.
“The normal lifel could be resumed next Easter, ”according to the British government.
Thus Oxford joined this vaccine race in the world led by Pfizer Biontech and Moderna. But four other vaccines they are already on their way.
The vaccine involves two injections, administered at least a month apart. The results suggest that using a lower first dose could increase the efficacy to 90 percent. However, that finding was based on limited data and can be modified. Going to keep testing in Asia.
Overall, a trial involving 24,000 people suggested that the vaccine had an efficacy of about 70 percent.
It prevented serious illness and the need to be admitted to a hospital. There are promising early signs that it might as well block virus transmission. No dangerous side effects were reported. The British medical regulator has started to review the safety and efficacy data.
Britain ordered 100 million doses. Astrazeneca, the drug company that partnered with Oxford, said Monday morning that 4 million of them would be ready to be sent to nursing homes, GP clinics and other vaccination centers by the end of the year.
Oxford vaccine can be stored in a normal refrigerator. This is why it is easier to handle than Pfizer’s competitor inoculation, which must be stored approximately at minus 70ºC. It is also considerably cheaper and costs a few pounds per dose. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the vaccine should be “A public good”.
Boris Johnson praised the announcement as “incredibly exciting.” Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said it would facilitate a return to normal life at Easter.
Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, announced that “we have a vaccine for the world. I think this is an incredibly exciting time for human health. “
“We have a vaccine that is very effective. Prevent serious diseases and hospitalizations. Because the vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperature, it can be delivered using the normal immunization delivery system. It is already being manufactured at ten sites around the world, ”said Professor Pollard.
The Oxford team’s main result of 70% effectiveness is less impressive than Pfizer’s results, released this month, of more than 90%. However, a subgroup of around 2,700 people in the Oxford trial received half a dose initially, followed by a full dose booster a month later. The data suggests that this regimen improved effectiveness to 90 percent.
In a larger group of people who received two full doses, the vaccine was 62 percent effective. The leading figure of 70% comes from combining the results of the two subgroups.
The Oxford team declined to say how many cases of disease the 90 percent efficacy finding was based on. Some experts said they were skeptical that it would reach that level of efficacy when more results are obtained, after continuing testing in Asia.
The overall findings are based on trials conducted in the UK and Brazil, that involved some 24,000 people. About a quarter of them had over 55 years. However, the data does not yet show how effective the injection is in protecting high-risk groups. It is also uncertain how long protection will last.