The head of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is developing a vaccine for the Coronavirus that is widely expected to be approved by British authorities this week, said researchers believe the shot will be effective against a new type of virus that leads to a rapid increase in the virus. Infection in Britain.
As AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told the Sunday Times that the researchers developing its vaccine have come up with a “winning formula” that makes the vaccine as effective as competing candidates.
Some have raised concerns that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being developed with the University of Oxford, may not be as good as the one made by Pfizer that is already being distributed in the UK and other countries. Partial results indicate that the AstraZeneca dose is approximately 70% effective in preventing MERS-CoV infection, compared to the 95% efficacy reported by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
“We believe that we have reached the winning formula and how to obtain the effectiveness that, after two doses, will be present with everyone else,” said Soriot. “I can’t tell you more because we will post at some point.”
The British government says its drug regulator is reviewing final data from AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 clinical trials. The Times and others reported that the green light could come by Thursday, and vaccines could start rolling out to the public in the UK in the first week of January.
When asked about the effectiveness of the vaccine against the new alternative to the spread of the Corona virus in the United Kingdom, Suriot said: “Until now, we believe that the vaccine should remain effective. But we cannot be sure, so we will test that.”
The British authorities have blamed the new virus variant for the high infection rates across the country. They said the variant is more transmissible, but there is no evidence that it makes people more sick.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued an urgent warning about the changing days before Christmas, saying that the new version of the virus is spreading rapidly and that travel and gathering plans should be canceled for millions. Since then, authorities have placed increasing areas of the country – affecting some 24 million people, or 43% of the population – under the most stringent levels of restrictions.
Several countries have quickly banned travel from the UK, but cases of a new variant have also been reported in dozens of locations around the world.
Public health officials said on December 24 that more than 600,000 people had received the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.