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Oxford’s COVID Vaccine Hits 90% Success Rate by ‘Accident’

The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, reported BBC.

Published
COVID-19
2 min read
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The COVID-19 vaccine developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could be 90 percent effective, giving public health officials hope that they may soon have an effective and cheaper vaccine which will be easier to distribute.

The vaccine trials reached 90 percent efficacy by accident when some of the participants were given half a dose.

On Monday, 23 November, Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine showed 70.4 percent efficacy, meaning it can prevent 70.4 people from getting COVID-19, according to newly released data.

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Mene Pangalos, executive vice-president of biopharmaceuticals research and development at AstraZeneca, said that the “trials reached 90% efficacy by accident thanks to the 'serendipity' of an error that led to some participants receiving half doses”.

When the researchers at Oxford University were distributing vaccines at the end of April, they noticed that expected side effects such as fatigue, headaches or arm aches were milder than expected.

“So we went back and checked, and we found out that they had underpredicted the dose of the vaccine by half,” said Pangalos.

The experts decided to continue with the half dose and administer the full dose booster shot at the scheduled time, reported The Guardian.

The participants were given two high doses, which showed 62 percent efficiency, but it rose to 90 percent when they were given a half dose, followed by a high one, reported BBC.

“It could be that by giving a small amount of the vaccine to start with and following up with a big amount, that’s a better way of kicking the immune system into action and giving us the strongest immune response and the most effective immune response.”
Professor Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said that the findings show that one of the dosing regimes maybe around 90 percent effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.

The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, reported BBC.

(With inputs from Guardian, BBC)

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