Third Covid-19 Vaccine is Both Effective and Less Expensive

A new Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and manufactured by drugmaker AstraZeneca is proving to be effective in its clinical trials and is expected to be cheaper than its competitors, according to the Associated Press. No one who participated in the trials and received the vaccine experienced any severe symptoms from Covid-19 or had to be hospitalized.

“Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system,” Dr. Andrew Pollard, chief investigator, said. “And so our goal … to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we’ve actually managed to do that.”

The data is from trials conducted in Britain and Brazil, according to The New York Times. AstraZeneca is the third major drugmaker, after Pfizer and Moderna, to report successful findings from its trials. AstraZeneca, whose vaccine will be about $2.50 a dose, has also vowed to not profit from the vaccine during the pandemic. The company is working with international health organizations and governments to keep the price down.

However, the way the doses are administered determines how effective it is. Researchers found the vaccine was 90 percent effective when participants were given a half-dose of it and then a full dose a month later. The vaccine was on average 70 percent effective when participants were given a full dose initially and then another full dose a month later. Scientists at Oxford have not yet figured why the vaccine is more effective when the first dose is smaller.