Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced via a press release issued on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is up to 90% effective in preventing the contraction of the disease, according to an interim analysis of its ongoing clinical trial.
Its vaccine, AZD1222, was demonstrated to be “highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine.”
According to the press release, there were no confirmed serious safety events related to receiving the vaccine.
“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. 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,” Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca, said.
“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.”
AstraZeneca also announced that it will submit the data to authorities around the world “that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval. The Company will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries.”
AstraZeneca is now the third company to successfully produce a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, with three announcements occurring within two weeks in one-week intervals.
Pfizer announced on November 9 that its vaccine was over 90% effective against COVID-19, with Moderna following close behind, announcing one week later on November 16 that its vaccine was 94.5% effective.
Dubbed a “global game charger” by Science Alert, the AstraZeneca vaccine is far cheaper than the ones produced by either Pfizer or Moderna, coming in at around $4 for one vial compared to $20 and $33, respectively, from the other two companies.
One concern, specifically regarding the newly announced vaccine from AstraZeneca, is its use of the fetal tissue from an aborted baby.
According to The Associated Press, AstraZeneca uses a cell line of human embryonic kidney cells, HEK293, to produce its vaccine. This cell line was taken from the kidney of an aborted fetus back in 1973.
However, “the cells used now are clones of the original cells and are not the original fetal tissue,” according to The AP.
As The Daily Citizen previously reported, despite assertions to the contrary, neither Pfizer nor Moderna used cell lines from the fetal tissue of aborted babies in the “Design & Development” phase of their vaccine, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
However, these two companies (or labs they collaborated with) did use HEK293 cells in the testing phase of their vaccine.
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