The UK-based pharmaceutical maker’s two-shot solution appears to be even more efficacious against symptomatic infection than Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose injection.
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Every major vaccine developed in the race to ward off Covid-19 has experienced a similar narrative arc: initial optimism over its potential; momentary wariness over its efficacy and/or side effects; and eventual acceptance and desirability. AstraZeneca’s two-shot offering — already in widespread use around the world, though not without intermittent hesitancy — appears headed toward its ultimate destiny in the U.S.
This morning, the UK-based, British-Swedish pharmaceutical company released partial results from late-stage testing on more than 32,000 adult U.S. participants. Of those, only 141 developed symptomatic Covid-19, according to AstraZeneca’s press release, which summarized its findings. That amounts to a 79% efficacy rate against symptomatic cases (80% for participants 65 and older). The test results yielded a 100% success rate in shielding against hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid. The studies were conducted under a randomized, 2:1 distributions vaccine versus placebo.
As AP reports, AstraZeneca will apply for authorized FDA use of the vaccine in early April and, if approved, be prepared to deliver 30 million doses right away and another 20 million by the end of that month. As of this writing, the CDC tabulates that more than 13 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. Roughly half of those have been 65 or older.
Recent fears over a possible link between administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine and subsequent blood clots have been largely allayed by the global scientific community.