By Rabia Iclal Turan
ANKARA (AA) - The COVID-19 vaccine, being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, has 70% efficacy against the novel coronavirus, the British pharma giant announced on Monday.
“Positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19,” AstraZeneca said in a written statement.
The interim analysis from the phase 3 vaccine trial found that the vaccine was 90% effective when administered as a half dose first and then a full dose a month later, and this dropped to 62% when someone is given two full doses at least one month apart. The 70% effectiveness came from combining those two regimes.
A total of 131 COVID-19 cases were assessed in the interim analysis.
“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,” Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said.
AstraZeneca’s chief executive, 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.”
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, in addition to millions of more doses of other vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna.
Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine candidate is 95% efficient against COVID-19, with 94% effectiveness in those aged 65 and over.
US biotech firm Moderna also announced last week that its coronavirus vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective.
Since first appearing in China's Wuhan last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to 191 countries and regions around the world, claiming over 1.38 million lives.