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November 23, 2020

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine achieves up to 90% interim efficacy

By Allie Nawrat

AstraZeneca has announced its Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, met its primary endpoint in interim analysis of its Phase II/III trial in the UK and Brazil.

According to the data analysed by the trial’s independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB), there have been 131 cases of Covid-19 in the trial and AZD1222 had a 70% efficacy rate after two doses, combining results from two different dosing regimens.

The vaccine was found to be 62% effective when administered as two full doses at least one month apart, while administering an initial half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later showed efficacy of 90%.

As well as being highly effective at preventing Covid-19, the DSMB also stated there were no hospitalisations or severe cases of the disease in the vaccine group. No serious safety events were reported and the vaccine was deemed to be well tolerated by the trial participants.

AstraZeneca chief executive officer Pascal Soriot said: “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic.

“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.

“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 now plans to submit AZD1222 for conditional or early approval globally, including to the World Health Organization so that the vaccine can be quickly made available to low-income countries.

AZD1222 has been developed jointly by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. The Phase II/III study has recruited 23,000 patients in the UK and Brazil. AZD1222 is an adenovirus vaccine that leverages a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.

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