AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective, results show

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective, results show
The AstraZeneca vaccine uses a modified version of a chimpanzee common cold virus to deliver instructions to cells to fight the target coronavirus. (Reuters)
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Updated 23 November 2020

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective, results show

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective, results show
  • British Prime minister Boris Johnson said it was ‘incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials’

LONDON: AstraZeneca said on Monday its vaccine for the coronavirus could be around 90 percent effective without any serious side effects, the latest drugmaker to unveil positive interim data in a scientific race to curb a global pandemic.
The vaccine developed by Oxford University was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart, according to data from the late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil.
No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed and it was well tolerated across both dosing regimens, it said.
“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” Pascal Soriot, Astra’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The British drugmaker’s preliminary trial results mark a fresh breakthrough in the fight against a pandemic that has killed nearly 1.4 million people and roiled the global economy.
British Prime minister Boris Johnson said it was “incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials.”
Another dosing regimen showed 62 percent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart, and the combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70 percent. All results were statistically significant.
The interim analysis was based on 131 infections among participants who received the vaccine and those in a control group who were given an established meningitis shot.
The data showing a range of efficacy between 60 percent and 90 percent comes after US rivals published interim data in recent weeks showing efficacy of more than 90 percent.
While the efficacy reading from Astra’s viral vector vaccine is lower than its US rivals, the data will boost confidence about the chances of successfully developing a variety of vaccines using different approaches. Public health experts say the world will need many vaccines to meet global demand.
On Nov. 16, US-based Moderna said its experimental vaccine proved to be 94.5 percent effective based on an early data analysis.
A week earlier, Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech said their vaccine candidate had demonstrated greater than 90 percent efficacy that rose to 95 percent with analysis of full trial data.
Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine on Nov. 11 was also shown to be more than 90 percent effective, though only based on 20 infections.
The AstraZeneca vaccine uses a modified version of a chimpanzee common cold virus to deliver instructions to cells to fight the target virus, which is different than the new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA) deployed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
The company — one of the UK’s most valuable listed companies — will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.
It will also seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization to speed up availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis
Updated 16 min 21 sec ago

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS: Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death early Sunday inside an Indianapolis home in an apparent targeted attack, the city’s police chief said, decrying the “mass murder” killings as a “different kind of evil.”
The fatal shootings were discovered by police who had been called about 4 a.m. to investigate reports of a person shot on the city’s near northeast side but first discovered a juvenile male with gunshot wounds, said Sgt. Shane Foley with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
No suspects were in custody as of Sunday evening.
As officers were investigating that juvenile’s shooting, Foley said police received information about 4:40 a.m., that led them to a nearby home, where they found five adults dead inside from apparent gunshot wounds.
One of the five victims was a pregnant woman who was taken to an area hospital, where both she and the unborn child died despite life-saving efforts, Foley said.
He said the juvenile initially found with gunshot wounds is expected to survive and police believe he was wounded in the shootings that left the five others dead, along with the unborn child.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said police believe the deadly shootings were not random, but were a targeted attack carried out by an assailant or assailants.
He said the shooting came days after police department officials had announced their latest efforts to combat violent, drug-related crimes and “violence driven by poverty or desperation.”
“But what we saw this morning was a different kind of evil. What happened this morning, based on the evidence that’s been gathered so far, was mass murder,” Taylor said at a news conference. “More than that, we believe it was not random.”
Taylor said it was largest mass casualty shooting in the city in more than a decade, and urged the public to contact police and pass along any information they might have on the killings.
Mayor Joe Hogsett called the shootings “mass murder,” and said that an individual or individuals had brought “terror to our community.” He said he had contacted officials with the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, the local US Attorneys office and other law enforcement agencies for assistance in the shooting investigation.
“I want those responsible to know that the full might of local, state and federal law enforcement are coming for them as I speak,” he said.