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Oxford vaccine Covishield shows 70% efficacy against Covid-19

The vaccine is likely to be the first Covid-19 vaccine available in India.

Published: 23rd November 2020 01:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2020 03:46 PM   |  A+A-

An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. (Photo | AFP)

An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. (Photo | AFP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Swedish-British biotech firm AstraZeneca on Monday announced that Covishield, its vaccine for Covid-19, developed along with the University of Oxford, showed an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against coronavirus in two study segments. 

There was a total of 131 Covid-19 cases in the interim analysis, as per the details shared by the company, but none had a serious disease or required hospitalisation. There was no serious adverse event reported either.

For the vaccine, developed from adenovirus, which is a common cold virus and can be stored at a comfortable 2-8 degree celsius, Pune-based Serum Institute of India, is the manufacturing partner.

The vaccine is likely to be the first Covid-19 vaccine available in India.

“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of the company in a statement.

According to the details shared by the firm, one dosing regimen given to 2,741 volunteers showed the efficacy of 90% when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

Another dosing regimen, given to 8,895 individuals showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimens in 11,636 individuals resulted in an average efficacy of 70%.

The firm now plans to immediately prepare the regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.

“The Company will seek an emergency use listing from the WHO (World Health Organization) for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries,” it said.

SII CEO Adar Poonawala had already indicated that the company will seek emergency use authorisation from the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation in India as soon as the initial data from the trial is out.

For the country, the company which is also sponsoring a small phase 3 immunogenicity trial, has pledged 35 million doses of the vaccine per month. The cost of the vaccine is expected to be about Rs 220 per dose under the government’s immunisation programme.

Only a few days back, Poonawala had also hinted that the vaccine could also be available in the private market in India at a higher price.

Meanwhile, trial results by the company are fourth in quick secessions after the results announced by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and Russia.

Pfizer-BioNTech has said that their Covid-19 vaccine is 95% effective while Moderna’s vaccine was found to have 94.5% efficacy. Sputnik V, the Covid-19 vaccine by a Russian government institute was claimed to have 92 % efficacy based on early results from late-stage trials.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said that “more data will continue to accumulate, and additional analysis will be conducted, refining the efficacy reading and establishing the duration of protection”.

Overall, the vaccine is planned to be tested in about 60,000 people across multiple countries including the US, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya. 



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