AstraZeneca says its vaccine needs ‘additional study’

The head of British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca stated on Thursday additional research was required on its Covid-19 vaccine after issues emerged over the protection it offers, but the additional testing is unlikely to affect administrative approval in Europe.

AstraZeneca and its partner, the University of Oxford, stated on Monday that it was trying regulatory approval for the vaccine after it showed an average of 70-percent effectiveness.

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That rate jumped to 90 percent when an initial half-dose then a full dose was given, similar to that in rival vaccines in development by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

But US scientists have said the higher rate of effectiveness came during tests in people aged 55 and under, and was discovered by accident during the clinical trials.

The head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Andrew Pollard, announced this week that further proof will be available next month, but the result was still “highly significant”.

The additional analysis was not likely to delay regulatory approval in Britain and the EU, Soriot said.

There are high hopes for the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which Pollard has hailed as a “vaccine for the world” given that it could be cheaper to make, and easier to store and distribute.

It can be stored, transported, and handled at normal refrigerated conditions of between two and eight degrees Celsius (36-46 Fahrenheit) for at least six months.

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