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Oxford-AstraZeneca’s CoviShield Vaccine Shows 70% Efficacy, What Does It Mean For India?

CoviShield initial analysis of clinical trials conducted in the UK and Brazil has yielded very good results. Trial was conducted in the UK on 12,390 Volunteers.

 

After Pfizer, Moderna, now the final phase trials of Corona vaccine-Coveshield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, have come to an end. Vaccine trials were conducted in two ways. The first saw 62% efficacy, while the second saw over 90%. On an average, the effectiveness was around 70%. This news is very encouraging for the whole world, especially for India.

CoviShield or AZD1222 is developed by Oxford University and its company Vaccitech. Chimpanzees have been used to weaken the cold-causing virus (adenovirus). It has the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 i.e Novel Coronavirus. Surface spike protein is formed through vaccination and it forms an immune system against SARS-CoV-2. So that in the future, if the novel coronavirus attacks, the body can respond to it strongly.

CoviShield’s initial analysis of clinical trials conducted in the UK and Brazil has yielded very good results. Trial was conducted in the UK on 12,390 Volunteers. They were given two doses-First half dose and then full dose. At the same time, 10,300 Volunteers were administered the vaccine shot in Brazil. They were given two full doses. Half of the volunteers were vaccinated and half were on saline placebo. No one has seen any serious health problems.

Volunteers’ blood samples and immunogenicity tests will be done until one year after the vaccine is administered to find out the efficacy. Samples are being taken every week to check for infection.

Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial in Oxford, said, “These results suggest that the vaccine is effective and can save many lives.” We have achieved efficiencies of up to 90% with one regimen. If it is followed then we will get better results regarding the need for the vaccine and its use.
Oxford / AstraZeneca in India has a manufacturing contract with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII). SII is undertaking phase-3 trials of this vaccine in India. The results are expected by January-February 2021.

Vinod Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog and chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration, said on Saturday that if AstraZeneca sought emergency approval in the UK and got it, then CoviShield can get approval even before Phase-3 trials in India are completed. If Paul is to be believed, the priority groups will be vaccinated early next year.

SII executive director Suresh Jadhav said in a virtual conference on Saturday that the company has started making the vaccine. “From January, we will start making 5-6 crore vaccines every month. By January, we will have 8-10 million doses of stock ready. We will start the supply after getting permission from the government,” Jadhav said.

 

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