New results on a possible COVID-19 vaccine from British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford suggest it is safe and about 70% effective.
Results of a clinical trial of the vaccine, named AZD1222, became the first to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday published partial results from tests of the vaccine in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa. The team of scientists confirmed the findings the manufacturers had released in November, saying that the vaccine was about 70% effective.
Experts say the vaccine seems likely to be approved, despite some confusion in the results. Earlier, AstraZeneca faced criticism about its trial results after acknowledging a manufacturing error. Surprisingly, the group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected from COVID-19 than the volunteers who got two full doses of the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have reported efficacy levels of more than 90% in late stage trials.
“We hope that once the regulatory authorities review the data, we can get approval any time from the completion of the submission, which could be any time from the end of this year to early next year”, said Mene Pangalos, head of AstraZeneca’s non-oncology research and development.