The Oxford coronavirus vaccine will “protect 95 per cent of patients” and is “as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna” alternatives, Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, told British daily The Sunday Times, adding scientists had figured out a “winning formula to get efficacy up there with everybody else”.
However, AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharma giant, has yet to release data confirming these claims. Interim results of Phase III trials released last month showed a 70 per cent efficacy rate as the average of two dosing regimens. One of these regimens – a half dose followed by a full dose – showed 90 per cent efficacy, while Pfizer’s data showed 95 per cent and Moderna’s 94.5 per cent.
Mr Soriot also said the vaccine, which is likely to be cleared this week by the British health regulator, “should be” effective against an aggressive mutant strain of the virus first detected in London and southeast England in September.
The Oxford vaccine, which will be mass-produced in India by the Pune-based Serum Institute, is one of three drugs being considered for emergency use authorisation by the Indian government. The other two are those developed by Pfizer (which has already been rolled out in the United Kingdom, the United States and several European countries) and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.