AstraZeneca shot 79% effective in US trial

Brenda Watkins
March 22, 2021

Overall, the trial showed that the shot was 100% effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

It comes as the United Kingdom is also beginning to feel the pinch of a supply shortfall from the Serum Institute of India - the world's biggest vaccine maker - which means the rollout's next phase covering people in their 40s will be delayed from April until May. It is therefore normal for us to ask that these doses be delivered as planned to Europeans.

The European Commission said Saturday that AstraZeneca in particular could face export bans to countries outside the EU if it didn't quickly deliver the promised amount of vaccines to the 27-nation bloc.

However, its usage has been overshadowed by several problems, including a slow start, recurring delivery problems and a temporary ban for several days earlier this week in numerous bloc's member countries after reports of blood clots in some recipients of the vaccine. There were 32,449 participants enrolled in the Phase III trials in the U.S., Chile, and Peru.

This new trial data may also prove useful in reassuring people about how well the vaccine works to protect the elderly against Covid-19 illness.

The degree of effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 was even higher than observed in the Oxford-led clinical trials.

The company said that, with the help of an independent neurologist, it specifically examined the USA trial data for information regarding blood clots, or thrombosis, and found no safety concerns.

The London-listed firm said the panel found "no increased risk of thrombosis or events characterised by thrombosis among the 21,583 participants receiving at least one dose of the vaccine". The specific search for CVST found no cases in this trial.

"We can expect strong impact against Covid-19 across all ages and for people of all different backgrounds from widespread use of the vaccine".

AstraZeneca has not yet sought approval in the European Union for Halix, but the official and a second European Union source said the request was on its way. The US had been waiting for the latest results before considering it.

Biden says administration will meet goal of 100 million vaccinations Friday
Biden has said that there will be enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May. The president said it's not a time for Americans to let their guard down regarding the virus.

In the trial, participants received either two standard doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or a placebo vaccine, at a four-week interval. The preparation will take a few weeks, she added. Across Europe there are thousands of deaths a day occurring from Covid. "This vaccine will save lives".

Ann Falsey, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in the USA, and co-lead principal investigator for the trial, said it was "exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time".

People rest after being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in a mass vaccination site at the Brabanthal event center in Heverlee, Belgium, March 17, 2021. That's the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfil your contract with Europe first before you start delivering to other countries, ' Von der Leyen told newspapers in Germany's Funke Media Group.

AstraZeneca said it was preparing to submit its findings to the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize the shot for emergency use.

Previous trials have shown leaving up to 12 weeks between jabs increased its efficacy.

"They would undermine not only their own citizens' chances of having a proper vaccine programme, but also many other countries around the world with the reputational damage for the European Union which they would find very hard to change over the short-term".

Many EU countries, including France, Germany and Italy have since resumed inoculations after the bloc's regulator said it was safe.

A nurse fills a syringe with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Dobong health care center on February 26 in Seoul, South Korea.

However, the concerns about the vaccine appear to linger among many potential recipients.

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