More good news: UK's Oxford University and European pharmaceutical AstraZeneca announced today that their COVID-19 vaccine is up to 90 percent effective, according to preliminary study results.
That's a hair less effective than the vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer, but the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has a major advantage: it's way cheaper to produce, at just $4 per dose according to the BBC. Pfizer's costs around $20 per dose, while Moderna's costs around $33.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has another advantage. Its vaccine is much easier to distribute, as it can be stored inside a standard fridge. Pfizer's vaccine, in contrast, has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine proved to be 90 percent effective when participants were given half a dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart. It was 62 percent effective when given as two full doses at least one month apart. That's an average efficacy of 70 percent.
The company says that "no serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed."
"Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 percent effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply," Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of Oxford's trial, said in the statement.
The study involved 23,000 participants both in the UK and in Brazil who received either half- or full-dose regimens of the vaccine. The company is also conducting trials in a number of other countries across the globe as well, hoping to eventually sign up 60,000 participants worldwide.
AstraZeneca is the third company to have recently made a major announcement about the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine trials. Earlier this month, both Pfizer and Moderna announced their mRNA-based vaccines are around 95 percent effective.
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