AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine 76% Effective in New US Trial Analysis | News on the coronavirus pandemic

The vaccine developer’s new analysis uses the latest data and follows reprimands from U.S. health officials.

AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 76% effective in preventing symptomatic disease in a new analysis from its key trial in the United States – slightly below the level announced earlier this week in a report criticized for the use of obsolete information.

U.S. health officials had publicly berated the drug maker for not using the most up-to-date information when an interim review was released on Monday that the vaccine was 79 percent effective.

The latest data was based on 190 cases of the coronavirus among more than 32,400 participants in the United States, Chile and Peru. The first provisional data was based on 141 infections up to February 17.

“The primary analysis is consistent with our previously published interim analysis and confirms that our COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in adults,” said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of BioPharmaceutical R&D at AstraZeneca in a statement.

AstraZeneca said it plans to seek authorization for emergency use of the vaccine in the United States in the coming weeks and that the latest data has been presented to the independent trial oversight committee, the Data Safety Monitoring Board. .

European countries resumed vaccinations with AstraZeneca after suspension following small number of blood clot cases [Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

AstraZeneca reiterated Thursday that the vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, was 100% effective against severe or critical forms of the disease. He also said the vaccine was 85% effective in adults 65 and older.

“Many of us have been waiting for this large, well-constructed and reported Phase III study,” said Paul Griffin, professor at the University of Queensland.

“It appears to be a very effective vaccine without any safety concerns. Hopefully this should now give people confidence that this vaccine is the right vaccine to use in the future, ”he said, adding that he and his parents had taken the vaccine.

The updated 76% efficacy rate compares with rates of around 95% for vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which not only require more careful storage and handling, but are also more expensive.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is cheaper and easier to handle and has been given to millions of people in the UK. More than 70 countries have already granted conditional marketing or emergency use authorization for the medicine, and it is the backbone of the World Health Organization COVAX facility, which aims to provide essential vaccines to the less wealthy regions of the world.

The highly unusual reprimand from U.S. health officials marked yet another setback for the vaccine after more than a dozen countries – mostly in the European Union – temporarily suspended it after a small number of cases of blood clots emerged.

The EU pharmaceutical regulator said last week that the vaccine was clearly safe and the benefits far outweighed the risks.

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