AstraZeneca vaccine is 79% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, says company

AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine showed 79 per cent efficacy against symptomatic disease and 100 per cent efficacy against severe disease and hospitalisation in a new, US-based clinical trial, the company said Monday.

The findings from the new Phase 3 trial, which included more than 32,000 participants, may boost confidence in the vaccine, which was originally developed by the University of Oxford, as reported by CNN.

The trial showed that the vaccine was well-tolerated and identified no safety concerns, the company said. An independent committee "found no increased risk of thrombosis or events characterized by thrombosis among the 21,583 participants receiving at least one dose of the vaccine," according to AstraZeneca.

The new data came from a Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in the US, Chile, and Peru.

According to CNN, in the trial, more than 32,000 volunteers were recruited across all ages who received either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo vaccine at a four-week interval.

Oxford said the findings add "to previous trial data from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, as well as real-world impact data from the United Kingdom".

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine became the subject of controversy earlier in the month when a number of European countries including Norway, France, and Denmark decided to temporarily suspend its rollout due to reports of blood clotting in patients post-inoculation.

An emergency investigation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was done on Thursday which revealed that the vaccine is "safe and effective" in preventing coronavirus and "not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events, or blood clots".

Co-designer of the vaccine and professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University Sarah Gilbert hailed the data for providing "further confirmation of the safety and effectiveness" of the vaccine, read CNN.

Lead investigator for the vaccine and professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at Oxford University Andrew Pollard said the AstraZeneca data was "consistent with the results from Oxford-led trials", adding that he expected a "strong impact against COVID-19 across all ages and for people of all different backgrounds from the widespread use of the vaccine".

The data will be sent to the US regulators, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as part of an application for emergency authorization of the vaccine in the country, AstraZeneca said.

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