The Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca revealed today that in its last stage of trial showed promising effectiveness over the deadly virus by 90%. The news gave further hope to public health officials on cheap and easily accessible vaccine compared to its rival counterparts.
Pfizer and Moderna last week reported preliminary results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were almost 95% effective. But, unlike its rivals, the AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it easier to distribute, especially in developing countries.
AstraZeneca has pledged it wont be making profits on the vaccines during the pandemic and has reached agreements with governments and international health organizations that put its cost at about $2.50 a dose. on the other hand Pfizer’s vaccine costs about $20 a dose, while Moderna’s is $15 to $25, based on agreements the companies have struck to supply their vaccines to the U.S. government.
The vaccine can be transported under “normal refrigerated conditions” of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit), AstraZeneca said. By comparison, Pfizer plans to distribute its vaccine using specially designed “thermal shippers” that use dry ice to maintain temperatures of minus-70 degrees Celsius (minus-94 degrees Fahrenheit).
The British drugmaker said it will have as many as 200 million doses by the end of 2020 – around four times as many as US competitor Pfizer. Seven hundred million doses could be ready globally as soon as the end of the first quarter of 2021.
AstraZeneca, one of Britain’s most valuable listed companies, will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.
It will also seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization to speed up availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.