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Senin, 23 November 2020

AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine prevents 70 per cent of COVID-19 cases, study shows - Sydney Morning Herald

London: A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca prevented a majority of people from getting the disease but fell short of the high bar set by Pfizer and Moderna, according to initial results of a large trial.

The vaccine stopped an average of 70 per cent of participants in a study from falling ill, an early analysis of the data shows.

CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Nash: CSL has begun manufacturing the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in Melbourne.

CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Nash: CSL has begun manufacturing the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images

AstraZeneca said on Monday its vaccine could be around 90 per cent effective using one of the dosing regimens trialled.

"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, AstraZeneca's chief executive, said in a statement.

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Australia has signed up for 33 million doses from AstraZeneca, with global biotech company CSL already gearing up to make the vaccine in its Melbourne lab.

But Australia has three other supply deals for vaccines: 10 million doses from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, 40 million from Novavax, and 51 million from the University of Queensland's project.

The cost of signing up to the four potential COVID-19 vaccines is more than $3.3 billion, if they are proved to be safe and effective.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data was "fantastic news".

"These figures ... shows that the vaccine in the right dosage can be up to 90 per cent effective," he told Sky News, after an announcement from AstraZeneca.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed the "fantastic" news but said the vaccine would require more safety checks.

"Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials," Johnson said on Twitter. "There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results."

The AstraZeneca results combined data from two different dosing regimens, which has raised questions about the best way to give the AstraZeneca shot. One regimen, given to some 2700 people, showed efficacy of 90 per cent, while another, given to nearly 9000 people, showed 62 per cent efficacy.

The results look less promising than data from Moderna, which said on November 16 its shot stopped 94.5 per cent of trial participants from falling ill, according to early data. Pfizer, which is working with German partner BioNTech SE, said a week earlier that its vaccine candidate demonstrated greater than 90 per cent efficacy that rose to 95 per cent with analysis of full trial data.

Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine on November 11 was also shown to be more than 90% effective, though only based on 20 infections.

The AstraZeneca findings were reviewed after 131 trial participants contracted COVID-19.

No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed and it was well tolerated across both dosing regimens, AstraZeneca said. There were no severe cases of COVID-19 in the trial and no participants were hospitalised.

Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator with the Vaccine Group, said the result demonstrated their vaccine’s “very high effectiveness”.

“70 per cent is better than the flu vaccine is in most years,” he told BBC television.

He said the 70 per cent result occurred when patients were given two full doses, while the 90 per cent effectiveness came when a half dose was administered first and followed by a full dose.

“That’s a really exciting and intriguing result which we need to dig further into,” Professor Pollard said.

He rejected assertions that the US-made Moderna and Pfizer vaccines would be better because they have a success rate of 95 per cent.

“It’s not a competition between products … and because this vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures we think we think that we’ll be able to get it to all corners of the world quickly and the partnership with AstraZeneca is a not for profit one so it also makes it affordable to get it everywhere.”

While the other two shots have to be stored frozen, the Astra-Oxford jab can be kept at refrigerator temperature, which would make it easier to transport and store globally, particularly in lower and middle-income countries. It also comes at a potentially lower cost.

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.

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.

Bloomberg, Reuters

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2020-11-23 07:42:00Z
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