New U.S. trial confirms Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is 79% effective

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Published March 22, 2021 at 2:49 pm

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A new study shows Oxford-AstraZeneca is both safe and highly effective.

The large AstraZeneca U.S. Phase III trial published on Monday found the COVID-19 vaccine to be 79 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic illness and 100 per cent effective against severe disease and hospitalization.

The vaccine was temporarily suspended in certain European countries after reports of it causing blood clots, but the U.S. study found there were no safety issues regarding blood clots in the diverse group of participants.

Run by experts at Columbia University and the University of Rochester, over 32,000 volunteers from the U.S., Chile and Peru took part in the trial.

The trial also found the vaccine works well to protect elderly people against COVID-19, with an efficacy rate of 80 per cent. Some countries initially decided to not to authorize the vaccine because of the lack of evidence it works for patients over the age of 65.

“These findings reconfirm previous results observed in AZD1222 trials across all adult populations, but it’s exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time,” said Ann Falsey, Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and the co-lead Principal Investigator for the trial.

“This analysis validates the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a much-needed additional vaccination option, offering confidence that adults of all ages can benefit from protection against the virus.”

Approximately 20 per cent of the participants were 65 years and over, and approximately 60 per cent had co-morbidities associated with an increased risk, such as diabetes, severe obesity or cardiac disease.

The vaccine is also easy to store, handled at normal refrigerated conditions.

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