Some good news from the COVID vaccine front yesterday. Astra Zeneca, the global pharmaceutical manufacturer, is working on a COVID-19 vaccine together with Oxford University. They announced interim clinical trial results which we are reporting on here.
Clinical Trials are currently underway in the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and Latin America. There are a total of 23,000 individuals enrolled at present, with up to 60,000 individuals planned globally for the complete trial.
Participants are aged 18 and over, come from diverse racial and geographic groups who are healthy or have stable underlying medical conditions.
Yesterday, Astra Zeneca announced the results of the COV002 Phase II/III trial in the UK and COV003 Phase III trial in Brazil. The results show:
The vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalisations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine;
One dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart;
Another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, 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 regime 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.”
Astra Zeneca plans to manufacture up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 on a rolling basis, pending regulatory approval. The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings.