AstraZeneca Vaccine

Health
AstraZeneca applies for approval of Covid-19 in European Union
AstraZeneca applies for approval of Covid-19 in European Union
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that AstraZeneca has applied for approval of their Covid-19 which has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

According to the EMA "the assessment of the vaccine, known as COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, will proceed under an accelerated timeline" and added that "an opinion on the marketing authorisation could be issued by 29 January during the meeting of EMA’s scientific committee for human medicines (CHMP), provided that the data submitted on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine are sufficiently robust and complete and that any additional information required to complete the assessment is promptly submitted."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK to roll out Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine starting Monday

The UK is set to start administering the new Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and the AstraZeneca group on Monday, stating that the "NHS will be the first health service in the world to provide this life-saving vaccine."

The vaccine will initially be delivered in a small number of hospitals, but will be widely distributed to hundreds of vaccination centers later this week.

Regional News • Asia • India
India approves Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use

An expert panel of India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use on Friday, making it the third country to approve the vaccine. The CDSCO may also approve a locally developed vaccine by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) soon.

Health
AstraZeneca likely to do another study of Covid-19 vaccine after accidental lower dose shows higher efficacy
AstraZeneca likely to do another study of Covid-19 vaccine after accidental lower dose shows higher efficacy
Credit: unsplash/ Obi Onyeador

AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Wednesday acknowledged a manufacturing error that has raised questions about their Covid-19 vaccine after revealing earlier this week it was “highly effective” against the disease. AstraZeneca is likely to conduct an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to the company’s CEO.

The vaccine's rollout to the rest of the world likely won't be affected, according to AstraZeneca's CEO, since the studies that have been conducted, including safety data, are already in place from participants around the world outside of the U.S.

While vaccine candidates from Moderna and Pfizer have also shown robust efficacy in early Phase 3 data, hopes are riding high on the AstraZeneca version because it relies on a different technology, can be stored and transported at standard refrigerator temperatures rather than frozen, and costs just a fraction per dose compared to the other two leading vaccines in development.

Health
AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine averages 70% efficacy
AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine averages 70% efficacy
Credit: D Wells / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced Monday that its Covid-19 vaccine has shown an average efficacy of 70% in large-scale trials. When given as a half dose followed by a full dose a month later, it showed 90% efficacy and with two full doses given a month apart, it showed 62% efficacy.

"What we've always tried to do with a vaccine is fool the immune system into thinking that there's a dangerous infection there that it needs to respond to -- but doing it in a very safe way. So we get the immune response and we get the immune memory ... waiting and ready if the pathogen itself is then encountered," so Professor Andrew Pollard, the trial's lead investigator at Oxford.