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AstraZeneca, Oxford Report High Effectiveness

Based on data from their US clinical trial, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford say their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is highly effective, the New York Times reports.

Nearly 34,500 individuals took part in the trial, which showed the vaccine was 79 percent effective in protecting against symptomatic COVID-19, according to AstraZeneca. The company adds in its press release that the vaccine exhibited 100 percent efficacy at preventing severe disease and hospitalizations. The vaccine is given as two doses four weeks apart.

Regulators, mostly in Europe, briefly paused the use of the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine for a review of concerns that it led to blood clots in some individuals, the Times notes. NPR adds that the European Medicines Agency announced Thursday that the vaccine is safe and effective and that its benefits outweigh any potential risks, prompting many countries to resume its use. An analysis of results from the US trial results also found no increased risk of thrombosis, according to AstraZeneca.

The company further says it plans to seek an Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.