AstraZeneca and Oxford University vaccine developed in Britain is at least 70% effective against Coronavirus
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The vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, has been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly.
The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine which is enough to vaccinate most of the population.
Rollout is expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.
One of the dosing patterns used by the scientists suggested 90 per cent effectiveness if one half dose is given followed by a further full dose.
Another dosing pattern showed 62 per cent efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose.
The combined analysis from both dosing patterns has resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4 per cent.
Chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, Professor Andrew Pollard, 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 per cent effective and, if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.”
Chief executive officer at AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said the news is an “important milestone” in the fight against the pandemic.
He added: “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.”
Professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, Sarah Gilbert, 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 Covid-19.
“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multinational effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma 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.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said manufacturing of the AstraZeneca and Oxford University vaccine had already begun in anticipation of positive results.
He told BBC Breakfast: “The NHS is on stand-by to be ready as soon as this can be manufactured.
“The manufacturing process for vaccines is also hard, this isn’t a chemical that you make, this is a biological compound, a biological product, so it has to be manufactured of course.
“That manufacturing has already started in anticipation of these results coming through positively.
“The NHS is on stand-by to start delivering the vaccine from next month. It’s going to be a huge effort, I think everybody knows, but the NHS will be ready.”
The UK also has orders for 40 million doses of a jab from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to be 95 per cent effective.
Another jab from Moderna is 95 per cent effective, according to trial data.