AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is 79 percent effective against symptomatic disease and 100 percent effective against severe disease and hospitalization, the company announced Monday following a U.S.-based clinical trial.
The results from the Phase 3 trial, which involved 32,449 adult participants of all ages receiving either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo at a four-week interval, found that the vaccine "was well tolerated" and had "no safety concerns."
"These results add to the growing body of evidence that shows this vaccine is well tolerated and highly effective against all severities of COVID-19 and across all age groups," said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D. "We are confident this vaccine can play an important role in protecting millions of people worldwide against this lethal virus."
Pangalos also said that AstraZeneca plans to submit the trial results to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization in the coming weeks.
The U.S.-based results come after four European countries— Germany, Spain, Italy and France — all suspended use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which was also developed by the University of Oxford, over concerns that it causes blood clots. Several other countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Ireland have also halted use of the vaccine.
The concern began after some people who had received the vaccine reported they developed blood clots, however, the number of cases was small. AstraZeneca said in a statement that out of the more than 17 million people who received the vaccine, there were 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism as of early March.
However, both AstraZeneca and the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the vaccine is safe and effective and that there is no proven connection between the blood clots and the vaccine.
So far, three COVID-19 vaccines have been granted approval for use in the U.S.: Pfizer, which is 95 percent effective at preventing the virus, Moderna, which is 94 percent effective, and Johnson & Johnson, which is 66 percent effective and the only vaccine that requires one dose (Pfizer and Moderna both require two).
According to the CDC, at least 81,415,769 people in the U.S. have received one dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday, March 22. Of that, 44,141,228 have received both doses and are fully vaccinated.
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