AstraZeneca Updates Data - Vaccine 76% Effective
On Wednesday, AstraZeneca updated the data from their late-stage US trials saying that their Covid-19 vaccine is 76% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 (down slightly from the 79% they originally reported on Monday) and 100% effective at preventing severe symptoms and hospitalizations. The company added that the vaccine is 85% effective in preventing symptoms in people 65 and older.
On Tuesday, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) expressed concern that AstraZeneca's announcements on Monday may have included outdated information, hence the updated data from AstraZeneca on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca added that the trials did not demonstrate any safety concerns including blood clots (a concern that was recently brought up by several countries).
Although the AstraZeneca vaccine is already being used in more than 50 countries, it has not yet received approval for use in the US and has recently come under fire as several European countries temporarily suspended use of the vaccine last week citing concerns over potential links to blood clots.
AstraZeneca has denied the claims saying there is no data that indicates any safety concerns. On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency concluded their investigation and determined that the vaccine is safe and effective and does not raise the likelihood of blood clots. That said, they were unable to rule out a potential connection to two very rare forms of blood clots and recommended that the pharmaceutical giant include a warning about these cases in its leaflets.
The European Union and World Health Organization have also said that the vaccine is safe for public use.
The US trials were conducted on 30,000 volunteers with two-thirds receiving the vaccine and one-third receiving a placebo.
AstraZeneca will now submit its findings to the FDA to seek emergency use authorization for their vaccine.
If approved, the two-shot vaccine will become the fourth to receive approval from the FDA alongside Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
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