Britain’s Oxford University Covid vaccine in collaboration with AstraZeneca has proved to be 70 per cent effective as it announces interim trial data from its Phase III trials that show its candidate vaccine offers a high level of protection.
Although not as high as either the Pfizer or Modena vaccines the interim Phase 3 interim analysis including 131 Covid-19 cases indicates that the vaccine is 70.4% effective when combining data from two dosing regimens
In two different dose regimens vaccine efficacy was 90% in one and 62% in the other
It’s higher efficacy regimen used a halved first dose and standard second dose and early indications show that vaccine could reduce virus transmission from an observed reduction in asymptomatic infections
Crucially, also, the vaccine can be easily administered in existing healthcare systems, stored at ‘fridge temperature’ (2-8 °C) and distributed using existing logistics
Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said:
‘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 regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.’
Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said:
‘The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-2. We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.’
The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, enough to immunise 50 million people.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the results of an interim analysis of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vacccine candidate were “very promising”.
He tweeted: “Very promising data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca Phase III clinical trials. We are on the cusp of a huge scientific breakthrough that could protect millions of lives. The UK has secured early access to 100m doses of their vaccine – on top of 255m doses from other developers.”