The pharmaceutical director behind Oxford Vaccine says researchers have found a “winning formula” to improve the vaccine’s effectiveness.
The vaccine trials, which the university developed along with AstraZeneca, have shown a 90% efficacy rate when people are given half a dose followed by a full dose at least a month later.
When at least two full doses were given for a month, the efficacy of the vaccine was 62%, meaning that – when all results are taken into account, the overall effectiveness was 70%.
But Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, told the Sunday Times: “We think we’ve come up with the winning formula and how to get an efficacy, after two doses, that’s with everyone else.”
“I can’t tell you more because we will post at some point.”
Such an improvement would be a relief to the government, which has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, with around 40 million expected to be available by the end of March.
Suriot said that the previous results were considered “positive” by the pharmaceutical company, adding: “They meet the standards set by regulators around the world.
“We assumed that people would be a little disappointed, that’s for sure, but we didn’t anticipate that storm.”
His words come amid reports that the vaccine could be approved as early as next week, after the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was approved in the first week of December.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, distribution of the Oxford vaccine could begin as early as January 4 with the government hoping that more than 2 million people could get their first dose within the first two weeks.
In response to the report, the government said the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) should be given time to review vaccine data.
The organization said, “The drug regulator is reviewing final data from clinical trials for the third phase of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca to determine whether the vaccine meets its stringent standards for quality, safety and efficacy.”
“We must now give MHRA sufficient time to do its important work and we must wait for her advice.”
It comes with growing anxiety about The spread of a new type of virus, Which was first discovered in the UK and appears to be much more portable than the original version.
It also comes in many parts of the UK She moved to more stringent restrictions Designed to limit the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror reported that hundreds of GP and hospital surgeries were still waiting to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine and that some of the appointments that had been set to vaccinate people at risk had been canceled due to delays.
The Sunday People reported that people in 12,000 nursing homes missed the opportunity to get a jab, even though they were high on their priority list.
Nadera Ahmed, president of the National Welfare Association, told the Sunday Mirror that Pfizer / BioNTech’s offering would be “tough,” but added, “It’s another case of tremendous promises about something that can’t be fulfilled. It’s static.”
Labor’s shadow health minister Jonathan Ashworth urged the government to avoid what he said were “the same mistakes again” in being “too slow” to protect care home residents – a subtle reference to PPE and hospital discharges.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak praised the vaccination efforts so far, and told The Mail on Sunday: “There will be tough days and months ahead, but there are reasons to look forward to a brighter future and what promises to 2021.
“The early launch of vaccines – and the amazing work of our scientists and the NHS – means we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic.”