A new vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca has shown to be up to 90% effective in preventing Covid-19, according to an interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil.
The results showed that the vaccine’s efficacy depended on the dosing regimen. The one that showed 90% efficacy saw patients first receiving a half dose of the vaccine, followed by a full dose at least one month later. The other dosing regiment, which was 62% effective, involved the patient receiving two full doses at least one month apart. The combined analysis found the vaccine to have an average efficacy of 70%.
“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives,” said Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the trial. “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.”
The findings of the trial still need to be peer reviewed. AstraZeneca also plans to submit the data to governments around the world for approval, so they can begin to distribute it.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca findings come after Pfizer and Moderna announced that preliminary results found their vaccines to each be about 95% effective. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, however, could prove easier to distribute, in part because it may only take 1.5 doses for it to be effective, and because it doesn’t need to be stored at super cold temperatures, like Pfizer’s.
Additionally, as The Associated Press reports, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is significantly cheaper, because AstraZeneca promised not to make a profit on the vaccine during the pandemic. The manufacturer reached an agreement with various governments and international health groups that put its cost at $2.50 per dose, where Pfizer’s will likely cost about $20 per dose, and Moderna’s between $15 and $25 per dose.