EPIDEMIC: This vaccine, by AstraZeneca is much easier to transport than the Pfizer, is eagerly awaited
The British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca claimed to have found, after additional research, “the winning formula” for its vaccine against Covid-19 developed with the University of Oxford, on which the British regulator is due to vote in the next few days.
“We believe that we have found the winning formula and how to achieve efficiency which, with two doses, is high like that of the others”, declared the general manager Pascal Soriot in the Sunday Times, assuring that his vaccine ensured a ” 100% protection ”against severe forms of coronavirus Covid-19.
In interim results from large-scale clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil, the British laboratory announced in November that its vaccine was on average 70% effective against more than 90% for those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Behind this average result are hidden large differences between two different protocols: the efficacy is 90% for the volunteers who first received a half-dose, then a full dose a month later, but only 62% for another group vaccinated with two full doses.
A vaccine simpler than Pfizer
These results were criticized because the injection of half a dose was due to an error and a relatively small group had followed this protocol. The company then announced that its vaccine required “an additional study”.
The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is eagerly awaited because it is relatively inexpensive and does not need to be stored as cold as that of Pfizer-BioNTech for example, stored at -70 degrees. This makes vaccination on a large scale as well as in retirement homes easier.
Vaccinate more with several different vaccines
The first Western country to have started injecting Pfizer-BioNTech doses in early December, the United Kingdom is counting on this second vaccine to gain momentum and to put an end to the surge in cases attributed to its soil to a new variant of the coronavirus.
Against this mutation, “we think for the moment that the vaccine should remain effective,” said Pascal Soriot. “But we can’t be sure so we’ll do some testing.” He assured that new versions were prepared just in case while hoping not to need them: “You have to be prepared”.
The UK government said on Wednesday that it had submitted full data for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to the UK regulator, the MHRA. According to the British press, the latter must decide in the next few days for injection from January 4th.