As the UK deployed its first COVID-19 vaccines yesterday, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca revealed that their vaccine had 70% efficacy—on average—against symptomatic illness and could substantially reduce hospitalizations, STAT reports.
This may sound underwhelming compared to the 95% efficacy claimed by Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, but it will take a village of vaccines to immunize the world.
But: Big questions about dosage remain: A standard 2-dose regimen was 62% efficacious; but a low dose followed by a larger dose had 90% efficacy. And: Researchers are still waiting on final data on how well the vaccine works in older adults.
“This is evolving science. You are seeing sausages being made — in front of the world’s eyes,” Yale vaccine researcher Saad Omer told STAT.
China’s Candidate: Beijing’s vaccine has shown 86% efficacy, according to new trial results by the United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg reports. Likely to be deployed in low-resource countries, the vaccine has a special advantage: It can be distributed at normal refrigerated temperatures.