By Luthien Evans | News Editor
Following the recent findings of the Pfizer vaccine stating 95% effectiveness, Oxford University have now declared a 70.4% effectiveness rate of their own. This result follows a large-scale trial of 20,000 people worldwide, leading to an average efficiency rate. Two separate trials took place, one averaging a 90% efficiency rate, with the other at 62%. Reports have shown that when participants receive a half dose than normal, it is then 90% effective.
The vaccine, created by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, uses different technology than the Pfizer vaccine causing different results. However, scientists have warned against comparisons due to Oxford’s vaccine accounting for mild illnesses, whereas the Pfizer vaccine did not take account for this.
The Oxford vaccine is cheaper and easier to store than other vaccine choices, making it the easy choice for the UK government to choose. The government has pre-ordered 100 million doses, with 4 million doses already produced. These will not be able to be used until the vaccine has been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
The UK has also ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the turnover for licensing will most likely be quicker for this vaccine, reports have shown. The Oxford vaccine also has orders from Australia totaling at 33.8 million doses. The US has also made a deal to purchase 300 million doses for $1.2 billion. Oxford have stated that they hope to supply 3 billion doses of the vaccine worldwide.
The Oxford vaccine differs from the other vaccines that have been announced. The vaccine can be produced cheaply coming in at £3 per dose. It also can be stored at fridge temperature as well as being able to be deployed easily and quickly using infrastructure already available. This was a criticism of the previous US vaccines as they were harder to store, requiring temperatures of -70 degrees and new equipment needed to store.
Once it has been regulated, Oxford have stated that the ‘bulk of the rollout will be in the new year’.