The third coronavirus vaccine made by drugmaker AstraZeneca has been announced to have significant positive results with high efficacy, paving the way to a relatively cheap and easily-distributable treatment.
The results are based on the interim analysis of trials from the UK and Brazil of the Oxford University-developed experimental vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca. During the tests, no participant who received the vaccine was reported to have been hospitalized or experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms.
AstraZeneca has become the third pharmaceutical company to reveal its late-stage trial data for an experimental coronavirus vaccine. However, unlike the first two, Oxford-AstraZeneca treatment is much more easily stored and distributed across nations worldwide.
The chief investigator for the trial, Dr. Andrew Pollard, said the results showed an exciting possibility. The medical expert that the vaccine’s capability to be stored at normal fridge temperatures allows officials to use the normal immunization distribution system.
Pollard said the pharmaceutical company’s goal was to provide a COVID-19 vaccine that would be accessible by anyone, anywhere. He noted that the company was able to produce a vaccine that would be available to the whole world.
Test results showed AstraZeneca’s vaccine with a 90% efficacy in preventing the onset of coronavirus in participants in one dosing regimen. However, another controlled test less effective. Moderna and Pfizer announced earlier this month that their experimental vaccines were had an efficacy of nearly 95%.
AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine could be stored at two to eight degrees Celsius, while the first two treatments must be stored at much colder temperatures. Pfizer’s drug must be kept in ultra-cold temperatures reaching about minus-70 degrees Celsius.
Availability to the world
Comparing costs, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is also significantly cheaper after company officials agreed to not profit off of the initial distribution while the pandemic is still raging. The price per dose is at about $2.50, while Pfizer has tagged its treatment for $20 per dose and Moderna between $15 to $25 depending on discussions with nation officials.
Despite AstraZeneca’s much more available and cheaper vaccine, Oxford researchers stressed that the company alone would not be able to meet the demand and supply treatment to everyone worldwide. They added that more than one producer is needed to sufficiently protect citizens of all nations.
A leader of the Oxford team, Professor Sarah Gilbert, said, “We need to be able to make a lot of vaccine for the world quickly, and it’s best if we can do it with different technologies so that if one technology runs into a roadblock, then we’ve got alternatives, we’ve got diversity.” the medical professional added that diversity would be crucial both in terms of manufacturing the vaccine and the raw materials needed, the San Francisco Gate reported.
AstraZeneca has also announced that it would quickly apply for early approval of its experimental vaccine. Officials added that they would seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization (WHO) to make their treatment more available for poorer countries.
The pharmaceutical company’s trials consisted of two regimens, the first of which exposed participants to a half-dose of the vaccine and another a month later with a full dose. Tests results showed that the treatment was 90% effective. The second regimen had participants exposed to two full doses one month apart and revealed an efficacy rate of 62%.
Gilbert noted they also wondered how giving less dosage of the vaccine would result in higher efficacy and said they would investigate the matter. However, experts believe that giving just the right amount of the vaccine is the crucial factor in determining its effectiveness.
The medical professional said, “It’s the Goldilocks amount that you want, I think, not too little and not too much. Too much could give you a poor quality response as well.”