Monday brought another promising update in the way of COVID-19 vaccine news.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced that late-stage trials have shown that one of its vaccine candidate's dosing regimens may be around 90 percent effective. If this dosage regimen is used, Professor Andrew Pollard—the chief investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial—said in a press release, more people could be vaccinated with a planned 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," Pollard added of the "highly effective" vaccine candidate.
Per the Associated Press, interest is particularly high in the AstraZeneca x Oxford vaccine due to its potential to be a cheaper and easier-to-distribute alternative to some of the other candidates.
As for the specifics of the dosing regimens mentioned above, AstraZeneca said Monday that one showed 90 percent efficacy when the vaccine—named AZD1222—was given as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month later. Another dosing regimen, this one consisting of two full doses at least a month apart, showed 62 percent efficacy. Thus, the combined analysis from both shows a current average efficacy of 70 percent.
"Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said. "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."