By World Healthcare Journal-
The Covid vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca can protect up to 90 per cent of people, results from the final stages of trials show.
So far, this vaccine is the fourth candidate to provide results on efficacy, with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIAID vaccines displaying a 95 per cent efficacy rate, and the Russian Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, displaying a 92 per cent efficacy rate.
“The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by Covid,” said Professor Sarah Gilbert from the University of Oxford, who has led the research.
“We will continue to work to provide detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be a part of this multinational effort, which will reap benefits for the whole world. ”
Whilst the Oxford vaccine at the present time displays a lower rate of efficacy than other vaccine candidates, the researchers have stated that the results with other candidates are not comparable as they have included sick patients in their trial groups as opposed to only healthy ones.
In addition, the Oxford vaccine greatly reduces the strain on logistics and manufacturing, as it does not require storage at sub-freezing temperatures, as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do. Furthermore, the vaccine is substantially cheaper per dose than other current candidates, priced at around £3 per shot, as opposed to around £20-30.
There was also a surprise revelation that if a lower first dose is used, the vaccine is even more effective than if the regular sized dose is used - which researchers are still attempting to discover why this occurs.
“We think that by giving a smaller first dose, we are priming the immune system differently - we’re setting it up better to respond,” said Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and lead investigator on the trial.
“What we don’t know at this moment is whether that difference is in the quality or the quantity of immune response. That’s something we’re going to be digging into over the next weeks. ”
“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. ”
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