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AstraZeneca, Oxford Announce Results Suggesting High Efficacy of Vaccine

AstraZeneca has announced that late-stage testing indicates the candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine it developed with Oxford University can have up to 90 percent efficacy, the Associated Press reports.

AstraZeneca teamed with Oxford to develop a vaccine targeting the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which early testing indicated could trigger an immune response. According to a press release from AstraZeneca, an interim analysis from their late-stage trial says that one dosing regimen in which a half dose is given first, followed by a full dose a month later, showed an efficacy of 90 percent. Another dosing regimen in which two full doses are given a month apart exhibited an efficacy of 62 percent. Overall, it says the findings suggest an average efficacy of 70 percent.

AstraZeneca and Oxford are the third group to report late-stage testing results of a coronavirus vaccine suggesting high efficacy, following Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna.

The Verge notes that the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine may offer some advantages over the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna ones, as, unlike the Pfizer vaccine, it can be handled at typical refrigeration temperatures and is cheaper than both the others. The AP notes the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine is priced at $2.50 a dose, while Pfizer's is about $20 a dose and Moderna's is between $15 and $25 a dose.

AstraZeneca and Oxford had to pause their trial as reports of suspected adverse neurological reactions were investigated. Investigations, though, found the illnesses were not due to the candidate vaccine.