The CEO of AstraZeneca announced that their batch of two-shot vaccine could be rolled out as early as Tuesday, December 28.
AstraZeneca pharmaceutical firm says that its coronavirus vaccine has an efficacy rate as close to Moderna and Pfizer. Pascal Soriot, CEO of the British-Swedish firm, said, “We think we have figured out the winning formula and how to get efficacy that, after two doses, is up there with everybody else.”
In connection to this, the U.K. paper wrote that Soriot’s comments come as officials were reportedly preparing to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as early as Tuesday.
As dozens of countries start to roll out a COVID vaccine, another contender is poised to join the race.
The UK is set to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which Australia has heavily invested in. @jekearsley #9News pic.twitter.com/O0TaWfRikU
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) December 28, 2020
On November 23, AstraZeneca and Oxford University said that their joint efforts resulted in a coronavirus vaccine that is easier to distribute than the ones from Pfizer, which requires to be stored at -94 degrees.
The first few AstraZeneca vaccine tests had shown that it is 62% effective when the two full doses of the vaccine were given at least one month apart. However, the efficacy rate was boosted for up to 90% when people were given half a dose first, followed by a full dose one month later. Soriot said, “We would have preferred a simpler set of results, but overall we thought these are positive.”
Nadhim Zahawi, vaccine minister, told The Sun that approval for the vaccine would likely be given on Monday. In addition to this, The Telegraph also reported that AstraZeneca plans to roll out the coronavirus vaccine to the whole country by January 4. So far, the U.K. government already has 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine pre-ordered from AstraZeneca.
Operation Warp Speed has now signed contracts for an additional 100M doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. This means the US has agreements to secure 400 MILLION doses of @US_FDA-authorized vaccines by mid-2021.
— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) December 23, 2020
The first vaccine in the U.S. was Pfizer, approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization last December 11. Since then, the vaccine from Pfizer has already being distributed and put into use.
On December 18, the FDA has also approved Moderna’s emergency use authorization request. According to Moderna’s data, their coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective during its late stage of the clinical trial, a number that is almost the same as Pfizer’s.
The vaccine from Moderna was the vaccine developed in conjunction with the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
Just last week, a new strain of coronavirus vaccine was found in the United Kingdom. The new strain of the virus reportedly spreads more easily. This caused some alarm to people, although it is not yet clear if the new strain causes more severe symptoms or is more deadly than the previous strain of the virus.
There's a new strain of coronavirus, and it's prompting travel bans and widespread concern around the world.
The new strain called VUI-202012/01 — first Variant Under Investigation in the UK in December 2020 — "can spread more quickly." Here's what we know so far. pic.twitter.com/kyNfmHu3qa
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) December 23, 2020
According to reports, viruses are always evolving in their attempt to keep spreading. In many cases, the easier it is to catch the virus, the less deadly it is. For instance, the “flu” is a collection of viruses. These viruses compete for the spread, which is also the reason why flu vaccines are changing every year.
However, the fact that the coronavirus is changing, at the same time as the vaccines trying to target it is being distributed, has created some concerns.
The Associated Press reported last Sunday, saying, “health experts in the U.K. and U.S. said the strain seems to infect more easily than others, but there is no evidence yet it is more deadly.”