ASTRAZENECA: U.S. STUDY SHOWS VACCINE 79% EFFECTIVE, GOOD FOR ADULTS
AstraZeneca reported Monday, March 22, 2021, that its COVID-19 vaccine protected all adults in a long-anticipated US study, raising hopes the findings could help boost public confidence in the shot in other countries and moving a step closer to clearance for American use.
The company said the vaccine was 79% effective overall at preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 — including in older people — and that none of the study volunteers who were vaccinated were hospitalized or developed severe disease.
The company also said its experts did not identify any safety concerns related to the vaccine, including finding no increased risk of rare blood clots identified in Europe, Maria Cheng and Lauran Neergaard reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The findings bolster AstraZeneca’s prior research in Britain and other countries and add to real-world evidence that the shots are offering good protection as they’re used more widely.
But confidence in the vaccine has been repeatedly hit because of concerns about how data was reported from some previous trials, confusion over its efficacy in older adults, and a recent scare over clotting.
AstraZeneca said it will seek clearance in the US “in the coming weeks,” putting it on track to arrive just as the country is projected to have a big boost in supplies of three other vaccines — from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — that already are in use.
AstraZeneca’s interim results are based on 141 COVID-19 cases in the 30,000-person trial, but officials declined to tell reporters during a news conference Monday how many were in study volunteers who received the vaccine and how many in those who got dummy shots. Two-thirds of the volunteers received the vaccine.