New AstraZeneca report says vaccine 76 per cent effective in preventing symptoms

New AstraZeneca report says vaccine 76 per cent effective in preventing symptoms”

The EU has been struggling to meet its member-countries requirements and has piled pressure on British-Swedish biopharma giant AstraZeneca to increase the supplies of the Oxford University vaccines and even indicated possible export blocks.

AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine had a 76 per cent efficacy rate at preventing symptomatic illness in a new analysis of its major USA trial - slightly lower than the level announced earlier this week in a report that was criticized for using outdated information.

Giorgio Aliberti, the European Union ambassador to Vietnam, said the subject could now be discussed since more countries are set to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and Vietnam has "potential" in vaccine manufacturing.

On Tuesday, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) that reviews data from multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates expressed concern over AstraZeneca's announcements on its latest findings, and, unusually, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases publicly announced those concerns.

"We look forward to filing our regulatory submission for Emergency Use Authorization in the USA and preparing for the rollout of millions of doses across America", Mene Pangalos, an executive vice president at AstraZeneca, said on Thursday.

An interim analysis of the trial, which took place in the United States, Peru and Chile, showed Monday that the vaccine efficacy was 79 percent.

The previous figure was based on 141 cases, with a cut-off in mid-February.

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The vaccine was 85 per cent effective in preventing symptoms in volunteers 65 and older, the company said.

The panel, in a harsh letter to the company and to U.S. health leaders, said the company had left out some Covid-19 cases that occurred in the study, a move that could erode trust in the science.

AstraZeneca had been counting on findings from a predominantly United States study of 32,000 people to help rebuild confidence in the vaccine. The overall total of exported vaccines is bigger still since many more were not covered by the recent export regime.

However, authorization by the Food and Drug Administration - considered the gold standard regulator - would go a long way to calm global doubts over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Previous studies have turned up inconsistent data about its effectiveness, and then last week a scare about blood clots had some countries temporarily pausing inoculations.

The European Medicines Agency deemed the vaccine safe and said it was not associated with blood clotting generally - but added it could not rule out a link to two highly rare forms of clotting, and suggested these risks be mentioned on a warning label.

It uses an adenovirus that causes colds in chimpanzees, modified so it can't replicate, to carry the gene for a key protein of the coronavirus into human cells.

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