In this September 9, 2020 image, a vaccine marked with a test tube can be seen in front of the AstraZeneca logo.
Given Ruvic | Reuters
LONDON – Developed by UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University, the coronavirus vaccine is the first whose late-stage study results have been independently reviewed and published in a medical journal.
The study, published Tuesday in The Lancet, replicated the study results for the vaccine published a few weeks ago, which showed an average effectiveness of 70% in protecting against the coronavirus.
It also confirmed the two dosage regimens used, with the two full doses showing 62% effectiveness and 90% effectiveness, demonstrated with the half-then-full dosage regimen.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Sarah Gilbert, the Oxford vaccination professor who led this coronavirus vaccine project, said it was “a really good day for the UK, this is probably the best day we’ve had in 2020”.
“Not only are we seeing the first introduction of NHS vaccinations against Covid-19 today, but we can also present our data to you from our side in a full peer-reviewed publication with all the information that people have requested about us,” added her.
“And we now see that the vaccine is safe, highly effective, and we also know it can be made in large quantities and at a low price,” Gilbert said, adding that hopefully the vaccine will get regulatory approval in the coming weeks . “
The interim results from the Phase 3 studies with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were published in The Lancet Medical Journal. Peer review means that articles or studies are reviewed by other experts in the field before they are published and serve as an additional quality control measure on the results.
Study age groups
Trial data, running through November 4, were analyzed from 23,745 adult participants in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. About 82% of the study participants were between 18 and 55 years old.
People aged 56 and over were recruited to participate later. Oxford University said the vaccine’s effectiveness in this older age group cannot be assessed yet but will be included in future analyzes as more data become available.
The age groups tested in the studies were a problem for White House chief of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, and others in the US, who noted that the 90% effectiveness rate was only reported for a lower risk group was 2,741 people under the age of 55.
The vaccine was found to be safe, according to the Lancet publication. Only 3 of the 23,745 participants had “serious adverse events potentially related to a vaccine” over an average of 3.4 months.
All three have since recovered or are recovering and are still part of the process.