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Oxford vaccine will protect 95% of patients, should be effective against new variant: AstraZeneca CEO

AstraZeneca chief executive said his team of researchers are almost sure that the Oxford vaccine will be able to fight against coronavirus.

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Oxford vaccine will protect 95% of patients, should be effective against new variant: AstraZeneca CEO
(Image: Reuters)
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As the world is battling a new strain of coronavirus, experts have now turned their attention to making sure the existing vaccines work against the new variant too.

Oxford University and AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine will protect "95% of patients" who get it, Pascal Soriot said.

AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said his team of researchers are almost sure that the Oxford vaccine will be able to fight against the novel coronavirus.

While Soriot is almost sure about this, he said more tests need to be performed to be sure about this. "So far, we think the vaccine should remain effective. But we can't be sure, so we're going to test that," Soriot said.

The British-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca has partnered with the University of Oxford and Pune-based SII for the rollout of their Covid-19 vaccine.

Pascal Soriot told British daily the Sunday Times that Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine is "as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna" alternatives. Soriot went on to add that the scientists have figured out a "winning formula to get efficacy" up there with everybody else. AstraZeneca, too, is yet to release data confirming these claims.

Interim results of Phase III trials released last month showed a 70% efficacy rate as the average of two dosing regimens. One of these regimens - a half dose followed by a full dose - showed 90% efficacy, while Pfizer's data showed 95% and Moderna's 94.5%.

Asked if the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be effective against the new mutant variant of Covid-19 found in the UK and other parts of the world, Pascal Soriot said it "should" be.

On Saturday, sources told news agency PTI that the DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) was waiting for the British drug regulator to clear the Oxford vaccine.

The Indian government has begun prepping for a nationwide rollout of whichever vaccine will be cleared first. Over Monday and Tuesday four states - Punjab, Gujarat, Assam and Andhra Pradesh - will take part in test runs of the vaccination process.

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