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Oxford Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective, says AstraZeneca

Pharma major AstraZeneca, which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine with Oxford University, said on Monday that its vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects. The British-Swedish drugmaker’s chief executive officer Pascal Soriot said the Covid-19 vaccine is highly effective and will have an immediate impact.

He said the vaccine will be affordable and globally available with supply of hundreds of millions of doses on approval and reiterated the commitment for not profiting from the pandemic.

The positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing Covid-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalisations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine, the drugmaker said.

The Chief Investigator of the Vaccine Trial at Oxford, Professor Andrew Pollard said based on the findings in the trials, this is an effective vaccine and will save many lives.

Astra Zeneca said that the vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings. An early analysis of the data shows that the vaccine stopped an average of 70% of participants from falling ill.

Pune’s Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of a vaccine for global supply.

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British Prime minister Boris Johnson said that it was incredibly exciting news that the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the vaccine in the right dosage could be up to 90% effective.

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