British vaccine up to 90% effective against Covid-19, data suggests
A coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK can prevent up to 90% of people from getting Covid-19, according to new data.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced that their jab is effective in preventing many people getting ill and has been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly.
One of the dosing patterns used by the scientists suggested 90% effectiveness if one half dose is given followed by a further full dose.
Another dosing pattern showed 62% efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose.
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The combined analysis from both dosing regimes resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4%.
Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said: “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 regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: “This is really encouraging news on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, that obviously we’ve been backing since the start.
“And I’m really very pleased, really welcome these figures, this data, that show that the vaccine in the right dosage can be up to 90% effective.
“Of course, it’s vital that the independent regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, will need to look at the data, will need to check to make sure that it’s effective and safe of course.
“But we’ve got 100 million doses on order and should all that go well, the bulk of the rollout will be in the new year.”
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer at AstraZeneca, said the news is an “important milestone” in the fight against the pandemic.
He added: “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.
“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “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-19).
“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multinational effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.
It also has orders for 40 million doses of a jab from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to be 95% effective.
Another jab from Moderna is 95% effective, according to trial data.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials. There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results. Well done to our brilliant scientists at @UniofOxford & @AstraZeneca, and all who volunteered in the trials.”