AstraZeneca: data proves vaccine effective

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AstraZeneca has provided new data it says proves its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective.

The vaccine has a 76-per-cent efficacy rating against symptomatic COVID-19, the British-Swedish pharmaceuticals company said in a statement on Thursday , citing further data from its phase III study with around 32,500 subjects.

For people over 65, the efficacy rating is 85 per cent, it added.

This means among older subjects in a vaccinated group, 85 per cent fewer cases of illness occurred than among those in a control group.

AstraZeneca spoke of 100-per-cent efficacy against severe or critical illness and hospitalisation.

One of the figures issued on Thursday is lower than the one issued earlier this week, however.

On Monday, the company had said its vaccine was 79 per cent effective against COVID-19.

The drugmaker had promised to provide more data after earlier questions raised by a US health agency over possibly "outdated" trial results.

On Tuesday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had said concerns were raised by the Data and Safety Monitoring Board over initial results published by AstraZeneca from its trials.

AstraZeneca said the new data confirmed vaccine efficacy consistent with the figures announced on Monday, March 22.

The drugmaker also noted that, according to the latest data, the vaccine was well-tolerated, and no safety concerns related to the vaccine were identified.

AstraZeneca developed the vaccine called AZD1222 with Oxford University.

It has been used extensively in Britain since January.

Germany and several other countries suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations for the time being because several cases of cerebral blood clots were reported in relation to vaccination with the substance.

The vaccine is being used again.