AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Shows 74% Efficacy in Large US Trial
Results also pointed out that the efficacy rate was way higher as much as 83. 5 percent for people aged 65 and above
The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has 74 percent efficacy at preventing symptomatic disease, the results published by the company's US clinical trail has shown.
The much-awaited results that came out on Wednesday, 29 September, on the New England Journal of Medicine also pointed out that the efficacy rate was much higher, almost 83. 5 percent for people aged 65 and above.
The overall efficacy of 74 percent is, however, lower than the interim figure of 79 percent reported by AstraZeneca in March. The company had updated that figure to 76 percent following criticism from health officials who said it was calculated based on “outdated information.”
No Cases of Serious Blood Clotting Reported
More than 26,000 volunteers from United States, Chile and Peru who received two doses of the vaccine in a month's gap participated in the trail.
Of the total volunteers, as many as 17,600 received the vaccine while the remaining 8,500 received placebo. While none among the group that received the vaccine had severe or critically symptomatic COVID, there were eight such cases among the group that got placebo.
Besides, there were also no thrombosis or cases of serious blood clotting, a side effect that has been linked to the vaccine.
Commenting on the overall result produced by the vaccine, Dr Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University who was also one of the investigators in the study reportedly said that she was "pleasantly surprised" by the outcome, according to Reuters. She added that the vaccine was also highly protective against severe disease and hospitalisation.
In late July, AstraZeneca had said that it planned to get full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration instead of seeking an approval for emergency use.
Meanwhile, the British drugmaker is also exploring the possibility of giving booster shots to people who have either received two doses of its own vaccine or those of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.
The company is also expected to apply for US approval of its Vaxzevria vaccine later this year. The vaccine is reportedly authorised at over 170 countries.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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