AstraZeneca vaccine shows 76% efficacy

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is seen at the general practice of Doctor Claudia Schramm as the spread of the coronavirus continues. (REUTERS)

AstraZeneca Plc on Thursday said results from phase-3 trials of its coronavirus vaccine show a 76% efficacy, marginally lower but consistent with the results announced on Monday.

“Vaccine efficacy at preventing symptomatic covid-19 was 76% occurring 15 days or more after receiving two doses given four weeks apart. The results were comparable across age groups, with vaccine efficacy of 85% in adults 65 years and older,” the Anglo-Swedish pharma firm said. The jab was 100% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

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AstraZeneca on Monday had announced its first set of interim results from the phase 3 trial in the US, Chile and Peru, showing that its vaccine, which it co-developed with the University of Oxford, had an efficacy of 79%. However, a US government agency National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said a day later the independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) had notified it that AstraZeneca may have used outdated information from the US trial.

After NIAID’s statement on Tuesday, AstraZeneca said that Monday’s results were based on a pre-specified interim analysis with a data cut-off of 17 February and that it will immediately engage with the DSMB. The firm added that it would issue results of the primary analysis within 48 hours, which it did on Thursday. In its second set of interim result, based on the latest data, the company calculated the 76% efficacy from 190 symptomatic cases of covid-19 from the 32,449 trial participants. The cases include an additional 49 patients, AstraZeneca said.

“The primary analysis is consistent with our previously released interim analysis. We look forward to filing our regulatory submission for Emergency Use Authorization in the US and preparing for the rollout of millions of doses across America,” Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of AstraZeneca’s BioPharmaceuticals R&D division, said.

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