OXFORD University’s coronavirus vaccine is “up to 90 per cent effective” and could be rolled out next month, phase three findings have revealed.
The interim results from Britain’s jab, developed by AstraZeneca, found it prevented 70 per cent of people from developing Covid-19.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The preliminary data, published today, shows that overall the vaccine is 70.4 per cent effective.
But tests showed it was 90 per cent effective in preventing Covid when it was administered as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart
Another dosing regimen showed 62 per cent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart and the combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70 per cent.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the jab – with four million expected to be ready before the end of the year, if it gets regulatory approval.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: “These figures … shows that the vaccine in the right dosage can be up to 90 per cent effective.
“We’ve got 100 million doses on order and should all that go well, the bulk of the rollout will be in the new year.”
Mr Hancock added that Brits could expect to see life return to normal by Easter next year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials. There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results. Well done to our brilliant scientists at @UniofOxford & @AstraZeneca, and all who volunteered in the trials.”
The vaccine – called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – uses a harmless, weakened version of a common virus which causes a cold in chimpanzees.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine – which has been found to be 95 per cent effective – the Oxford jab can be stored at more standard fridge temperatures.oday
Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said: “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.
“Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 per cent effective and, if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma tweeted: “Very promising data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca Phase III clinical trials.
“We are on the cusp of a huge scientific breakthrough that could protect millions of lives.
“The UK has secured early access to 100m doses of their vaccine – on top of 255m doses from other developers.”
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer at AstraZeneca, said the news is an “important milestone” in the fight against the pandemic.
He added: “This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency.
“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by (Covid-19).
“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multinational effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.
It also has orders for 40 million doses of a jab from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to be 95% effective.
Another jab from Moderna is 95% effective, according to trial data.