AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine 79% effective, new study finds

AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine 79% effective, new study finds
Credit: Belga

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is 79% effective in preventing the disease and has a 100% efficacy rate against critical or severe symptoms and hospitalisation, a recent clinical study has found.

The results of the study based on 30,000 volunteers in the US, Chile, and Peru were announced on Monday, in the wake of the company facing several challenges regarding the efficacy and safety of its vaccine.

“These results add to the growing body of evidence that shows this vaccine is well tolerated and highly effective against all severities of COVID-19 and across all age groups,” said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, in the company’s press release.

This study found "comparable efficacy results across ethnicity and age" and concluded the dose was 80% effective in participants aged 65 years and over.

A quarter of the volunteers were older adults, as an earlier study by the pharmaceutical company had not included enough people over 65, meaning the results for that age group were not considered conclusive enough.

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The previous lack of information on its efficacy in people aged over 55 resulted in several member states temporarily halting the use of this dose.

More recently, countries including Germany and Ireland temporarily stopped administering the vaccine again following reports of possible blood clots, however, the EMA last week advised countries to continue using the doses, which it had deemed safe.

The study appointed an independent panel of experts to conduct a review of the safety concerns around thrombosis as a possible side-effect, which found no increased risk of thrombosis among the 21,583 participants who received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The data of this study will now be sent to the American medicines agency, which is expected to approve the vaccine in the next coming weeks.

Lauren Walker

The Brussels Times

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