British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca said it has found a “successful formula” to improve the COVID-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
The British laboratory announced in November that the average effective rate of its vaccines in clinical trials is 70%, while Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines have both exceeded 90%. Both vaccines have been used in multiple countries/regions. Obtain authorization to use.
The results of the mid-term clinical trial showed that the data was very different due to two different protocols: for volunteers who received a half dose and then a full dose one month later, the efficacy was 90%, while the other group received the vaccine The efficacy of volunteers is only 62%. Two doses.
Since the half-dose injection was due to an error, and the relatively small group followed the protocol, the results were criticized. The company subsequently announced that its vaccine needed “additional research.”
But Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, assured that the company’s vaccine would provide “100% protection” against the severe form of Covid-19. He told the Sunday Times:, after two doses , Everyone else is there. “
He added: “I can’t tell you anymore because we will release it at some point.”
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is highly anticipated in the UK because it is relatively cheap and can be stored in a conventional freezer, while the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine must be stored at -70 degrees.
This makes it easier to vaccinate on a large scale and in nursing homes.
The United Kingdom was the first Western country to approve the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in early December. It relies on this second vaccine to gain momentum and stop the surge in cases caused by new variants of the coronavirus in its soil.
Soriot said: “At present, we believe that the vaccine should still be effective against this new variant.” “But we are not sure, so we will test it.”
He promised that new versions are being prepared, just in case, without having to use them: “You must be ready”.
The British government announced on Wednesday that it had submitted complete data on the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine to the British regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
According to British media reports, MHRA will make a decision in the next few days, with a view to starting the vaccination on January 4.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, of which 40 million doses will be on the market at the end of March.
Overall, the British government has secured 350 million doses by the end of next year by purchasing from seven manufacturers during the clinical trial phase.
In total, more than 600,000 people have received the first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The current success of the campaign in the UK is critical, as the country is one of the most severely affected areas of the epidemic, with more than 70,000 deaths, and it is currently experiencing a resurgence.
The authorities attributed this renaissance to a mutation that, according to a British study, was 50% to 74% more infectious and caused more than 40 countries to close their borders to British travelers.