COVID-19 vaccine update: Phase 3 trials show Oxford vaccine safe and protects against Coronavirus, says Lancet study

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Updated: December 08, 2020 9:42 PM

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine news: The experts conducting the study also say their findings indicate that Oxford COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy exceeds the thresholds set by health authorities.

A volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (AP/File photo)

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine: The interim results of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trials have found that in 70% of cases the vaccine protects against Coronavirus, as per details published in The Lancet medical journal on Tuesday. Where two full doses were administered during the trials – an efficacy of 62% was recorded; whereas, when a half dose of the vaccine was first administered followed by a full dose — the efficacy rose to 90%, the study said.

In what is the first full peer-reviewed efficacy result to be published for a COVID-19 vaccine, The Lancet report stated that the first full results from interim analysis confirm that the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222) has an acceptable safety profile and is efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.

The report stated that 11,636 people participated in the phase 3 trials held in the UK and Brazil, and safety data was gathered from 23,745 participants in the four trials in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. In the vaccine group no hospitalisation was required and no severe disease has been reported so far.

In general, the vaccine was found to be safe as out of the 23,745 only three participants experienced serious adverse effects that could possibly be related to the vaccine.

Importantly, all the participants have recovered or are recovering, the study underlines.

Considering the encouraging results, the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine could help contain further spread of Coronavirus in countries where a large population has not been infected and are not immune. Professor Sarah Gilbert, co-author of the study, University of Oxford, said, “Vaccines may play an important role in increasing immunity, preventing severe disease, and reducing the health crisis, so the possibility that more than one efficacious vaccine may be approved for use in the near future is encouraging.”

The experts conducting the study also say their findings indicate that Oxford COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy exceeds the thresholds set by health authorities. Study lead author Professor Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford, UK, adds: “Control of the pandemic will only be achieved if the licensing, manufacturing and distribution of these vaccines can be achieved at an unprecedented scale and vaccination is rolled out to those who are vulnerable.”

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