Coronavirus vaccine: Oxford jab's results 'intriguing' says expert
AstraZeneca and Oxford University is responsible for the UK’s effort to develop a coronavirus jab. The research and development partnership has already born fruit, according to early data, which shows the jab is 70 to 90 percent effective. If the data holds at the higher end, it will put the Oxford jab in competition with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
When will the AstraZeneca vaccine be ready?
AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine has run slightly behind Pfizer and Moderna in the US.
The development team announced their preliminary results slightly later, and with varying results.
One plan produced 70 percent of protection, and another 90, and leaders stated they needed to comb through more trial results.
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The lower results came from the traditional two-dose regimen, while the higher one came from a half then full-dose regimen.
Oxford experts hailed the results as “another step closer” to completing the vaccine, as both show it works.
But it could take a little longer before completion, according to experts.
A paper published last week showed the vaccine was safe and effective, but questions remain.
In a press briefing on December 8, study investigators said they were pooling data of the different dosing regimens, but, researchers have found difficulty in explaining why the half then full dose yielded the best results.
As such, more work remains, and researchers have not specified a date when people can expect the vaccine, at least in the UK.
Experts have released tentative timescales for reviewing final data.
Adrian Hill, director of Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, which oversees the university’s vaccine development, said they would review results in the new year.
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He added the US might expect the first few dials by mid-2021.
He told NBC: “I would hope that the (Food and Drug Administration) would look at the data set on this vaccine, including all of the available data in January.
“To wait for the end of the trial would be the middle of next year.
“That’s too late to take the value of this vaccine, which is effective, available at large scale and easily deployed.”
Speaking today, an AstraZeneca official revealed it could arrive in India slightly sooner.
AstraZeneca Country President Gagandeep Singh said “emergency authorisation” would allow them to release the vaccine in India in “the first half of 2021.
He said: “We started working in April with Oxford University and currently we are hoping to get emergency use authorisation approved and that can potentially mean that we could have something which is available as early as the first half of 2021.
“On top of that, due to the viral vector platform which is used to produce our vaccine, it can be manufactured on a relatively large scale, and we are fortunate to partner with Serum which has one of the largest manufacturing capacities.”
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