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AstraZeneca Expects Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Results This Year

The British drugmaker's vaccine candidate is back on track after a setback in September.
(Tattoboo)
(Tattoboo)
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AstraZeneca expects results from the late-stage trials of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine “later this year,” WSJ reports. A potential rollout could follow soon after, pending regulatory approval.

Tell Me More: AstraZeneca’s candidate, which is being co-developed with the University of Oxford, is a front-runner in the global vaccine race. AstraZeneca says roughly 23,000 volunteers have enrolled in its late-stage vaccine trials in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and South Africa.

  • The vaccine has shown a “promising immune response and mild adverse reactions in the elderly and older adults,” according to interim data.

Bouncing Back: AstraZeneca paused trials in September after a participant had an unexplained illness. Trials in the U.S. resumed after the FDA ruled the vaccine wasn’t responsible for the illness.

As cases surge and restrictions return, a safe and effective vaccine is one key to bringing the world closer to some form of normalcy. England enacted a new nationwide lockdown on Thursday. Elsewhere around Europe, “similar or more-drastic measures have been adopted” as winter approaches.

European authorities started a “rolling review” of the vaccine candidate, making it the first Covid-19 shot to start the European Union’s fast-tracked review process.

  • The vaccine update came as AstraZeneca more than doubled its Q3 net profit to $648 million, with total revenue of $6.58 billion.

Looking Ahead: Timing on results depends on infection rates around the world. While AstraZeneca is scaling up manufacturing, it’s waiting to pour the shot into vials. The company plans to fill vials when regulatory approval is “clearly in sight” and is confident it can supply hundreds of millions of doses by January 2021.

Justin Oh:

I’m not sure I believe people will actively be taking a vaccine by January. We should keep an eye on the results and how efficacious the vaccine proves to be in trials. At least in the United States, I am observing widespread hesitancy to be among the first to take a fast-tracked vaccine.

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