Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective, independent analysis finds
Written by Gavin on 8th December 2020
The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective, independent analysis has confirmed.
Researchers say the jab will have a “big impact” on the coronavirus pandemic.
The study, published in the Lancet, is the first peer-reviewed analysis looking into phase 3 data from a vaccine trial.
Scientists working on the vaccine stressed the importance of “transparency” and data sharing within the scientific community.
They hope the vaccine will be approved for use in the UK “within the coming weeks”.
Nearly 12,000 volunteers have been taking part in the trial in both the UK and Brazil.
The results show, on average, the vaccine efficacy was 70.4%.
In a group which received two standard doses, the efficacy was 62.1%.
But in a group which by accident, received a half dose, then a full dose, the efficacy rose to 90%.
The data has been submitted to regulatory bodies around the world for approval.
Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: “Today, we have published the interim analysis of the phase III trial and show that this new vaccine has a good safety record and efficacy against the coronavirus.
“We are hugely grateful to our trial volunteers for working with us over the past eight months to bring us to this milestone.”
The vaccine is both simple and cheap to produce, and can be manufactured in large quantities at low cost.
Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, it does not need to be kept at ultra low temperatures.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, described today as “probably the best day of 2020”.
She said “Following the demonstration of vaccine efficacy in many preclinical studies, we now have clear evidence of efficacy in the trial results presented in a peer-reviewed publication today.
“Now under regulatory review, we hope that this vaccine will shortly be in use to start saving lives.”
The trial is still ongoing and questions remain about how long it provides immunity, and whether people might need a booster jab.
It will be up to independent regulators to decide which dose people might be given.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine.