AstraZeneca and Oxford say COVID-19 vaccine shows 70% efficacy

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© Provided by CNBC A test tube labelled vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020.

The 70% average is lower compared with the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines trialed by rivals Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna which have come in above 90%.

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine came in lower than the other three candidate vaccines such as that made by United States drugmaker Pfizer, Russia's Sputnik V and the vaccine produced by another U.S. pharmaceutical firm, Moderna.

On November 16, US-based Moderna Inc said its experimental vaccine proved to be 94.5% effective based on an early data analysis.

There were no serious safety incidents related to the vaccine and AZD122 was well tolerated, AstraZeneca said.

As this is the first results published from this trial, more data will continue to be collected and additional analysis will be carried out to further refine its efficacy reading and to further understand the length of protection from COVID-19.

"This is important as the vaccine could reduce the spread of the virus as well as protect the vulnerable from severe disease".

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: 'These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. According to AstraZeneca, it indicates that the vaccine candidate was 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 when administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

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"Today's announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world".

Another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart and the combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70%.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said his firm's vaccine would still be highly effective and would have an "immediate impact". "Furthermore, the vaccine's simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to Page 2 of 3 broad, equitable and timely access mean it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval".

Shares of the company slipped more than 1% during morning trade.

AstraZeneca said it would submit the data to authorities around the world with a framework for conditional or early approval.

Huge challenges remain before a vaccine can be rolled out, however.

AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report late-stage results for its potential COVID-19 vaccine as public health officials around the world anxiously wait for vaccines that will end the pandemic that has killed nearly 1.4 million people.

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