Coronavirus: Oxford University candidate vaccine is 70% effective

Oxford University’s candidate coronavirus vaccine is 70.4% effective, according to preliminary data from Phase 3 trials.

The efficacy depended on the dose regimen, the university said in a statement, with the vaccine, which was developed with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, becoming 90% effective if administered at a half dose and then at a full dose and 62% effective if administered in two full doses.

There were no hospitalised or severe cases of the virus among those who received the vaccine, the university said in a statement.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply,” said Professor Andrew Pollard, the chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

It comes after the team announced last week that Phase 2 trials in healthy older adults showed the candidate vaccine is safe and provokes an immune response.

The phase 2 trial, which involved 560 adults including 240 over the age of 70, found that the vaccine causes few side effects and induces immune responses in both parts of the immune system in all age groups.

The news from Oxford comes after results showed that vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna were 95% effective.

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was 94% effective in adults over the age of 65, who are more at risk for severe illness.

Some experts now say that a vaccine could be made available by the end of 2020 for healthcare workers and those who are more vulnerable to the virus.

The Oxford vaccine, though seemingly less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna ones, is made from a weakened cold virus that was genetically changed. It can be stored in a regular refrigerator instead of at ultra-cold temperatures like the Pfizer vaccine.

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