Another one! AstraZeneca announces ‘highly effective’ COVID vaccine

Another Monday, another coronavirus vaccine announcement.

For the third consecutive week, the world woke up to positive news of another viable coronavirus, this time from AstraZeneca.

The drugmaker said its vaccine has an average effectiveness of 70 per cent in a large-scale trial.

“So we get the immune response and we get the immune memory … waiting and ready if the pathogen itself is then encountered.”

– Professor Andrew Pollard, the trial’s lead investigator at Oxford

The vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, showed 90 per cent efficacy in one dosing regimen — when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later — and 62 per cent efficacy in a second regimen — when two full doses were given at least a month apart.

On that basis, the company said its average is 70 per cent efficacy but it is not yet clear why the two doses produced different results.

Professor Andrew Pollard, the trial’s lead investigator at Oxford, said today, “What we’ve always tried to do with a vaccine is fool the immune system into thinking that there’s a dangerous infection there that it needs to respond to — but doing it in a very safe way. So we get the immune response and we get the immune memory … waiting and ready if the pathogen itself is then encountered.”

Today’s vaccine announcement followed news by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech which both saw 95 per cent effectiveness in their vaccines.