UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he is "really pleased" with the news from the Oxford University vaccine trial, suggesting it could help the country to start to get "back to normal" after Easter. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.
Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said: "These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives".
Also, compared to the other vaccines it is stable when stored at fridge temperature: a major plus for a global pandemic vaccine suitable for use in the developing world. "And so our goal â€¦ to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we've actually managed to do that".
"We expect emergency authorisation for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be sought in the UK".
Meanwhile, Moderna has said that it will charge governments between $25 and $37 (Rs 1854 to Rs 2744) for a single dose of its vaccine candidate.
So it will still play a significant role in tackling the pandemic if it is approved by regulators.
The results come as a second wave of COVID-19 hits many countries, once again shutting businesses, restricting social interaction and pummeling the world economy.
Almost 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be shipped and flown to developing countries next year in a "mammoth operation", the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Monday, as world leaders vowed to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines.
The vaccine showed 90 percent efficacy when given as a half-dose followed by a full-dose at least one month apart. There were also no serious safety concerns related to the vaccine and AZD1222 was said to be well-tolerated across both of the dosing regimens.
"The combined analysis. resulted in an average efficacy of 70 percent", it said. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine promises to be easier to store and transport than the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
The AstraZeneca vaccine uses a modified version of a chimpanzee common cold virus to deliver instructions to cells to fight the target virus, a traditional approach to vaccine development and different from the path taken by Pfizer and Moderna, which rely on new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA).
The Oxford Vaccine Group released preliminary findings from their early tests today, putting another effective vaccine in arm's reach. "But the immune system does not work like that".