AstraZeneca awaits rapid approval of its vaccine in the EU, 95% effective Sputnik

Is the race for the COVID-19 vaccine nearing its final stretch? At least it seems that way, judging by the flood of drug company advertisements in recent days. AstraZeneca and its vaccine created together with the University of Oxford, assures in front of the euronews cameras that they await a quick approval for the European Union.

In Russia, the Sputnik vaccine would have presented efficacy results of 95%, in line with the Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines, with which the European Union has already signed purchase contracts.

Following the publication of the promising results of the AstraZeneca vaccine safety and efficacy trials, euronews interviewed Iskra Reic, AstraZeneca Executive Vice President, Europe and Canada region.

The company, which works with the University of Oxford, announced Monday that its vaccine is 70.4% effective in preventing serious coronavirus illnesses. The company said it is now waiting for EU regulators to approve the vaccine.

“I am absolutely convinced and confident that, following the long-awaited approval from the European Medicines Agency, we will be able to distribute the vaccine very quickly in all EU Member States more or less at the same time,” Reic said.

“[La agencia] began an ongoing review in early October that gives everyone hope that there could be a relatively quick approval, “he added.

Phase three trials showed that the vaccine is 70.4% effective and can be up to 90% effective depending on the dosing regimen.

“We have yet to better understand the reasoning and biology behind the results showing the difference between the standard dose and the half dose. We hope to have much more data in the coming weeks,” Reic explained about the difference between the doses.

The results are promising too, as AstraZeneca’s vaccine is considered cheaper and easier to store. Those from Moderna or Pfizer / BioNtech require a very low storage temperature of -70º C and -20º C respectively. The one from AsraZeneca and Oxford can last six months stored in a normal refrigerator, which facilitates its distribution and considerably reduces costs.

Full interview in original version in English

But many have pointed out that vaccine candidates developed by competitors Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have been shown to be more than 90% effective.

Reic cautioned that it is difficult to compare data from the various ongoing trials.

“The data cannot be compared because clinical trials are designed in different ways and also the characteristics of the patients are different. So I think it would definitely be a mistake to draw conclusions comparing the results of the studies,” Reic said.

“This is not a competition at all, the world will need more than one, more than two and more than three vaccines if we really want to vaccinate people globally in a short period of time.”

Russia announces that Sputnik V vaccine is 95% effective

Also today Russia assured that clinical trials have shown that its Sputnik V vaccine is 95% effective against the fight against COVID-19.

This figure was based on preliminary results of tests in volunteers, 42 days after the first injection of the vaccine.

“The data on the high efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine gives us hope that we will soon have a critical tool in the fight against the new coronavirus pandemic,” said Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.