Serum Institute of India chief 'delighted' at AstraZeneca vaccine's effectiveness
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Monday expressed happiness at pharma major AstraZeneca's announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been found to be 70 percent effective on average.
AstraZeneca said one dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90 percent when the vaccine was given as a half-dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart, while another dosing regimen showed 62 percent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.
"The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70 percent," it added.
In a tweet, Poonawalla said, "I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-cost, logistically manageable & soon to be widely available, #COVID19 vaccine, will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime...".
SII is currently conducting clinical trials of Oxford University-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India.
AstraZeneca also said it was making rapid progress in manufacturing with a capacity of up to three billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 on a rolling basis, pending regulatory approval.
"The vaccine can be stored, transported, and handled at normal refrigerated conditions for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings," it added.
Image source: Pixabay
Meanwhile, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, "Interestingly the more effective dosage will be more economical. And the easier storage & transportability of this vaccine makes it possibly the best bet for India. This is seriously good news. Let's get this show on the road @adarpoonawalla."
In another development, global drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was 95 percent effective, including in adults over 65 years of age.
American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said they had concluded a Phase 3 study earlier this month, of their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2, meeting all primary efficacy endpoints.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)