A coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University can prevent 70.4 per cent of people from getting Covid-19, data shows.
Preliminary results from phase three of the trial show that when administered at a half dose and then a full dose the vaccine can be up to 90 per cent effective.
Administering the vaccine in two full doses produced 62 per cent effectiveness, therefore when combined the data indicates that the vaccine is 70.4 per cent effective.
The study, involving more than 24,000 volunteers, showed there were no serious cases among those who received the vaccine, including no hospitalisations, the researchers said.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said the UK has 100 million doses of the vaccine on order and it is expected to be rolled out in the new year.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 per cent effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.
“Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.”
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Oxford vaccine can be stored at 2-8 °C, making distribution and storage easier.
‘Begin mass vaccinations as soon as possible’
Prof Pollard said that it was important to begin mass vaccinations as soon as possible.
“The most important thing to get us back to normal is to use these vaccines – all of the vaccines that are going to be available – as soon as possible because once we have protected the vulnerable in the population we will be able to start getting back to normal,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“We have just got to get on with this as soon as possible.”
PM: Oxford vaccine news ‘incredibly exciting’
Boris Johnson has praised the scientists behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, calling the latest data “incredibly exciting”.
How effective is the Oxford vaccine?
Professor Andrew Pollard said that if people were given a half dose first of the Oxford vaccine followed by a full dose a month later, they had 90 per cent protection.
“There is just a hint in the data at the moment that those who got that regime with higher protection, there is a suggestion that it was also able to reduce asymptomatic infection,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“If that is right, we might be able to halt the virus in its tracks and stop transmitting between people.”
Expert reaction: ‘Absolutely excellent news’
Scientists have welcomed the news from the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine trial.
Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at the University of Oxford tweeted: “Oxford jab is far cheaper, and is easier to store and get to every corner of the world than the other two.”
Dr Michael Tildesley, associate professor in infectious disease modelling at the University of Warwick, told Times Radio: “It’s absolutely excellent news about the Oxford vaccine because this is really the vaccine that the Government has pinned a lot of their hopes on in terms of resources – we’ve ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine.”
Matt Hancock: ‘There is a way through’
Mr Hancock added until the “bulk of the population” is vaccinated we have to “keep working to keep things under control,” but added he hopes people can now see there is “a way through”.
The Health Secretary said the Government was trying to get an agreed set of plans for Christmas across all four nations.
“But we have agreed in principle that there should be a set of rules that applies across the board, that is balanced, allows a little bit more freedom, but is still safe,” he told Sky News.
Matt Hancock: Oxford vaccine will be rolled out in the new year
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said the Oxford vaccine announcement was “really encouraging news”.
He told Sky News: “I am really very pleased, I really welcome these figures, this data, which shows that the vaccine in the right dosage can be up to 90 per cent effective.
“Of course it’s vital the independent regulator, the MHRA, will look at the data and will need to check to make sure it’s effective and safe…
“But we’ve got 100 million doses on order, and should all that go well the bulk of the roll out will be in the new year.”
He added this “home grown vaccine” is easier to administer than the Pfizer vaccine as it does not need to be stored a -70 °C.
Oxford vaccine: No volunteers required hospital treatment
Professor Andrew Pollard has said that no one who had received the Oxford vaccine in the trials had required hospital treatment for Covid-19.
“We are really pleased with these results,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“What we have got is a vaccine that is able to protect against coronavirus disease and, importantly, there were no hospitalisations or severe cases in anyone who had the Oxford vaccine.
“So, that means that if we did have people vaccinated then certainly so far the results imply that we would be able to stop people getting severe disease and going into hospital.”
Read more: Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Q&A
Oxford vaccine: ‘Simple supply chain’ means vaccine will be affordable
AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot, said the Oxford vaccine announcement was an “important milestone”.
“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,” he said.
“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”
Oxford vaccine: ‘One step closer’ to ending Covid-19 pandemic
Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said we are “one step closer” to bringing an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-2,” she said.
“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
Oxford findings ‘very promising’
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the results of an interim analysis of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vacccine candidate were “very promising”.
He tweeted: “Very promising data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca Phase III clinical trials. We are on the cusp of a huge scientific breakthrough that could protect millions of lives. The UK has secured early access to 100m doses of their vaccine – on top of 255m doses from other developers.”
BREAKING: Oxford vaccine 70 per cent effective
Oxford University has just announced its coronavirus vaccine is 70.4 per cent effective.
The study involving 20,000 volunteers showed there were no serious cases among those who received the vaccine, developed in conjunction with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Self-isolation to be scrapped for Covid case contacts
Self-isolation will no longer be required for contacts of positive Covid cases under plans announced by the Government on Monday.
Instead, contacts of those who test positive will be asked to undergo daily tests for seven days, and allowed to go about their business in the meantime.
Ministers will say that the current system – which was criticised by the Government’s own advisers as “massively ineffective and hated” – will be dismantled nationwide in January, if pilot schemes succeed.
Read the full story by Laura Donnelly, Health Editor, here.
NZ prime minister offers Biden virus advice
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday became the latest world leader to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory, saying she offered to share her nation’s expertise on dealing with the coronavirus.
Ms Ardern said the tone of the 20-minute phone call was warm and that Mr Biden spoke very favourably about how New Zealand was handling the pandemic.
“What has been really at the center of our response has been some fundamentals around testing, contact tracing, isolation,” Ms Ardern said. “That’s over and above what we’ve done at our borders.”
New Zealand has been largely successful in eliminating the virus after imposing a strict lockdown in March and closing its borders. Only 25 people in the nation of 5 million have died from Covid-19.
Ms Ardern said Mr Biden wanted to pursue the discussion on New Zealand’s response further. But she cautioned that the nation’s model may not be able to be replicated everywhere.
Ministers agree on plan for households to mix over Christmas
Families will be able to enjoy Christmas together across the whole of the UK after ministers agreed a plan that will allow up to four households to mix for five days.
The leaders of all four home nations have agreed that the same rules will apply in every part of the country between Christmas Eve and December 28.
Tough limits on household mixing will be scrapped for the festive break before the country returns to a Tier system which will replace the current lockdown from December 3.
SNP accused of being misleading with use of fake cafe in campaign
Staring directly into the camera, a cafe owner issues a passionate plea to the public to strictly follow coronavirus rules to help “the people who work at businesses like mine”.
But SNP ministers have been accused of attempting to hoodwink the Scottish public after it emerged that they created a fake business for their latest flagship public health campaign – and spent £60,000 of taxpayers’ cash on the 30 second advert.
And in what opposition MSPs said was an embarrassing revelation, it emerged that the real business which was temporarily altered has actually been shut since March, and the owners admit it may never reopen.
India’s tally of infections rises by 44,000 in a day
India has recorded 44,059 new cases coronavirus, taking its total to 9.14 million, data from the health ministry showed on Monday.
India has the second-highest number of infections in the world, after the United States, but the rate of increase in India has dipped since it hit a peak in September.
New daily cases have come in at fewer than 50,000 for more than two weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
Deaths rose by 511, according to the latest health ministry data, taking the total to 133,738.
South Korea continues to battle third wave
South Korea reported another daily rise of more than 200 new coronavirus cases on Monday, a day after it tightened social distancing rules as it battles a third wave of infection.
The daily tally of 271 new cases fell from 330 reported on Sunday after hovering above 300 for five straight days, a level not seen since August, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Officials have said the numbers tend to drop during the weekends due to less testing.
The government strengthened distancing rules for the capital Seoul and nearby regions on Sunday, closing bars and nightclubs, limiting religious gatherings and restricting on-site dining at restaurants from Tuesday.
Total infections are now at 31,004, with 509 deaths, KDCA data showed.
Mexico reports more than 9,000 cases in a day
Mexico’s health ministry reported 9,187 additional cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, only the third time it has recorded more than 9,000 new infections in a single day.
The total number of cases rose to 1,041,875, while 303 more deaths brought the toll to 101,676.
Mexico broke records in October with a daily jump of 28,115 cases, a figure officials said incorporated cases dating back months due to a new methodology.
Its prior record, last August, reached 9,556 new infections.
Vaccine could be available in US mid-December
US healthcare workers and others recommended for the nation’s first Covid-19 inoculations could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, a top official of the government’s vaccine development effort said on Sunday.
Some 70 per cent of the US population of 330 million would need to be inoculated to achieve “herd” immunity from the virus, a goal the country could achieve by May, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for “Operation Warp Speed”.
Dr Slaoui said the US Food and Drug Administration would likely grant approval in mid-December for distribution of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech.
The FDA’s outside advisers are slated to meet on Dec. 10 to review Pfizer’s emergency-use application for its vaccine.
A second pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc, is expected to seek separate approval later in December for its vaccine.
Source: The Telegraph Travels