Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Shows 70% Efficacy As Company Prepares Approval Filings
Vaccine Will Be 'Affordable And Globally Available'
Topline results with AZD1222 have shown a lower efficacy rate than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but a subgroup receiving a half-dose in their first injection showed a 90% efficacy result.
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‘Harsh note’ from Data Safety and Monitoring Board follows AstraZeneca press release that contained incomplete information about the Phase III US trial for its COVID vaccine. It remains to be seen how the company will fix this ‘unforced error’ and weather the latest threat to public trust.
Approximately 9% of subjects have withdrawn from the 32,000-person trial because they were eligible to receive one of the mRNA vaccines in the US; AstraZeneca expects limited impact on efficacy assessment but is working on a potential plan for crossover of all participants to try to keep as many in the study as possible for safety follow-up.
A lower first dose boosted the vaccine’s efficacy result, but AstraZeneca has conceded that this has to be proven in a separate trial. In the meantime, the UK government has asked the regulator to assess the vaccine under a special health emergency provision.