AstraZeneca US trial claims 79% efficacy in opposition to Covid

London, March 22

AstraZeneca says advanced trial data from a US study on its Covid vaccine shows it is 79 per cent effective.

Although AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been authorised in more than 50 countries, it has not yet been given the green light in the US. The US study comprised 30,000 volunteers, 20,000 of whom were given the vaccine while the rest got dummy shots. The results were announced on Monday.

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AstraZeneca said its Covid-19 vaccine had a 79 per cent efficacy rate at preventing symptomatic Covid and was 100 per cent effective in stopping severe disease and hospitalisation. Investigators said the vaccine was effective across all ages, including older people — which previous studies in other countries had failed to establish. The early findings from the US study are just one set of information AstraZeneca must submit to the Food and Drug Administration. An FDA advisory committee will publicly debate the evidence behind the shots before the agency decides whether to allow emergency use of the vaccine.

Britain first authorised the vaccine based on partial results from testing in the UK, Brazil and South Africa that suggested the shots were about 70 per cent effective. But those results were clouded by a manufacturing mistake that led some participants to get just a half dose in their first shot. Last week, more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, temporarily suspended their use of the AstraZeneca shot after reports it was linked to blood clots. On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency concluded after an investigation that the vaccine did not raise the overall risk of blood clots, but could not rule out that it was connected to two very rare types of clots. — AP

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