Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is up to 90% effective, making it the third vaccine to hit the mark.
The drugmaker said in its announcement that one dosing regimen of its vaccine reached a 90% effective rate, while a second dosing regimen reached 62%, making the combined average efficiency rate 70%. Those who took the vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Oxford University, were completely exempt from having a severe case of the virus and being hospitalized.
“We’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply,” said Andrew Pollard, who led Oxford’s vaccine trial. “Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hardworking and talented team of researchers based around the world.”
The company also said that the vaccine can be stored and transported at normal refrigerated temperatures, making distribution notably attainable. Like other coronavirus vaccines, AstraZeneca’s is administered two separate doses – a half dose and a full dose given a month apart.
AstraZeneca also said that it planned to create and distribute up to 3 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021. Its announcement comes after Pfizer and Moderna announced their respective vaccines surpassed 90% efficacy as well, increasing the chance that vaccines may begin distribution before the end of 2020. (RELATED: Russia Claims Its Vaccine Is 92% Effective After Hearing Pfizer Announcement)
Both were developed in tandem with Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s plan to create and distribute a vaccine nationwide free of charge, though Pfizer funded its vaccine research and development without federal aid.
The announcement also arrives as coronavirus cases reach record highs across the United States. On Monday, the U.S. had recorded nearly 12.25 million cases and 257,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
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