AstraZeneca Says Its Vaccine is 79% Effective Amongst Overall Population; No Risk of Blood Clots

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You might’ve heard that Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is reviewing the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine and is also looking into using other vaccines, one of which is AstraZeneca.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been found to be 79% effective at preventing COVID-19 symptoms in the overall population and 100% effective at preventing hospitalisation and severe disease, the company said.

AstraZeneca Says Its Vaccine is 79% Effective Amongst Overall Population; No Risk of Blood Clots

It is also 80% effective at preventing coronavirus in the elderly and does not increase the risk of blood clots, according to The Straits Times.

This comes after the United States phase three trials, involving 32,449 participants. Two-thirds received the vaccine shot.

Most notably, 20% of the participants were 65 and older, while 60% had pre-existing health conditions associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 such as diabetes, severe obesity or cardiac disease.

Ethnicity also made no difference as the trial worked equally well across different groups, reported The Guardian. Approximately 79% were Caucasian, 8% African American, 4% Native American, 4% Asian, and 22% of participants were Hispanic.

Initially, several countries had refrained from vaccinating the older population with AstraZeneca due to the lack of data among elderly participants in a previous trial.

The trial’s co-lead principal investigator, professor of medicine Ann Falsey noted that the results reconfirm the previous trial’s outcome among the adult population, adding that “it’s exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time.”

“This analysis validates the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a much-needed additional vaccination option, offering confidence that adults of all ages can benefit from protection against the virus.”

No increased risk of thrombosis

The AstraZeneca trials also reassured many who were concerned over the rare cases of blood clots in the vaccine recipients, as the independent data safety monitoring board found no increased risk of thrombosis among the 21,583 participants who received at least one dose.

As reported by The Guardian, AstraZeneca had engaged an independent safety committee to conduct a specific review of the blood clots and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (an extremely rare blood clot in the brain) in the US trial.

In fact, several countries had already resumed the administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) asserted that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed any risks.

Findings from the trial also suggested that administering the second shot more than four weeks after the first could further increase efficacy. Previous trials have shown that leaving up to 12 weeks between the two doses increased its efficacy.

AstraZeneca said it was preparing to submit its findings to the US Food and Drug Administration to authorise the shot for emergency use.

Featured Image: Seda Yalova / Shutterstock.com

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