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Posted 2020-11-24 09:33:17 UTC

Covid 19 vaccine- where are we now and where are we heading?



Covid 19 vaccine- where are we now and where are we heading?

 The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine looks highly effective at stopping people developing Covid-19 symptoms, a large trial shows. 

 

 Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all published their latest Phase 3 trial results, showing the effectiveness of their vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed 95% protection.

 

 However, the Oxford jab is far cheaper, and is easier to store and get to every corner of the world than the other two. 

 

 Governments can now plan a phased vaccination timetable for the entire population.

 

 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

 

The University of Oxford/AstraZeneca published interim late-stage Phase 3 results today, showing the vaccine to be 70% efficient, on average. Interestingly, the efficacy was 90% when the vaccine was given as a half dose followed by a full dose (one month apart),but reduced to 62% when two full doses were given a month apart. This is promising news, as these results are higher than normal efficacy tests- the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) lower requirement is usually 50% and a normal flu shot is 40-60%.

 

Two major advantages of the AstraZeneca vaccine is that it can be stored at 2-8°C for at least six months and that it can produce up to 3bn doses in 2021 (versus 1.3bn for Pfizer and 0.5-1.0bn for Moderna, i.e. a total of c.5bn doses in 2021).

 

The vaccine will play a significant role in tackling the pandemic, if it is approved for use by regulators. 

 

"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 [the virus]," said the vaccine's architect, Prof Sarah Gilbert.

 

The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, and AstraZeneca says it will make three billion doses for the world next year. 

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "incredibly exciting news" and that while there were still safety checks to come, "these are fantastic results".

 

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing on Monday evening, Mr Johnson added that the majority of people most in need of a vaccination in the UK might be able to get one by Easter.

 

Prof Andrew Pollard - director of the Oxford vaccine group - said it had been "a very exciting day" and paid tribute to the 20,000 volunteers in the trials around the world, including more than 10,000 in the UK.

 

Pfizer’s vaccine should be ready in less than a week, according to government sources.

 

The UK should be on track to start a vaccination process for risk groups and healthcare workers in mid-December, which is likely to continue into early 2021. Mass vaccination to the rest of the public will probably start in Spring or early Summer 2021.

 

Whilst we are not out of the woods yet, Boris Johnson has spoken of his hope that the country will end restrictions and get back to normal by the Spring of 2021.

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Loved by 1000’s of UK people, Pacamask face masks feature antibacterial fabric which kills 99% of bacteria for up to 50 washes.

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