AstraZeneca says vaccine is up to 90% effective in preventing COVID-19

AstraZeneca released its interim trial analysis Nov. 23 for the COVID-19 vaccine it's developing with the University of Oxford, which showed the candidate to be up to 90 percent effective in preventing the disease.

The interim analysis came from trials the drugmaker is conducting in the United Kingdom and Brazil, which are testing the vaccine in two different dosing regimens. The analysis found the vaccine to be 90 percent effective when given to patients first as a half-dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later. The vaccine was 62 percent effective when administered in two full doses one month apart.

AstraZeneca is the third drugmaker to announce positive interim trial results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.Both Pfizer and Moderna have released analyses saying their candidates are 95 percent effective in preventing the disease. AstraZeneca's vaccine uses a chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of an adenovirus, a different approach than the mRNA platform used by both Pfizer and Moderna.

"This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a news release. "Furthermore, the vaccine's simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval."

The drugmaker said its manufacturing capacity in 2021 will be up to 3 billion doses. Its vaccine candidate's storage temperature requirement is 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the same as Moderna's and easier to manage than Pfizer's minus-90 degrees Fahrenheit requirement.

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