London, December 27: The efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in coordination with British-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca will be "around 95 percent", claimed the latter's chief executive officer Pascal Soriot. His remarks, while speaking to a British daily, comes ahead of the likely rollout of the vaccine in India and the UK.
Drug regulators in both the countries are expected to grant clearance for emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. While India is yet to approve any vaccine so far, the UK has launched the immunisation drive using Pfizer-BioNTech doses. AstraZeneca To Test Its Vaccine in Combination With Russia's Sputnik V.
Soriot's claim of 95 percent efficacy is yet to be confirmed. The interim study of clinical tests data, as released earlier this month, suggested that the vaccine was 70 percent effective using average two doses, and upto 90 percent effective if half a dose is followed by a full dose.
The efficacy rate was, however, found lower than Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna candidates - which have reported an efficacy rate of 95 percent and 94.5 percent, respectively.
While AstraZeneca is trailing behind its two rivals in the vaccine launch, the company may gain an edge as its candidate may succeed in forming immunity against the new strain of coronavirus as well. Soriot, while speaking to The Sunday Times, said the Oxford vaccine is capable of creating immunity against the mutated virus.
Another factor which goes in favour of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is adaptability to common supply chain network, as the doses can be stored at fridge temperature. On the other hand, the Pfizer vaccine requires storage in deep freeze with temperature of minus 70 degree celsius. The Moderna doses is also required to be stored at minus 20 degree celsius.
The Oxford vaccine, as per the tentative rate, will also be relatively cheaper. A single shot will cost $2.5, way lower than Pfizer's $20 and Moderna's $25. All the three vaccines are required to be administered in two shots. The lower rate of Oxford-AstraZeneca will further boost its prospect in third-world markets.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 27, 2020 04:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).