Good News for AstraZeneca: Vaccine Shows 79% Efficacy in US Trials

The published results also addressed the concerns over efficiency rates in adults over 65 and blood clots.
Fabienne Lang

The long-awaited results of the final clinical trial phase in the U.S. of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have confirmed that the shot is safe and effective. 

The pharmaceutical company published the details of the results on Monday 22 March, stating its shot has a 79% efficacy rate and is 100% effective against "severe and critical disease and hospitalization." 

AstraZeneca vaccine and worldwide rollout issues

This comes as good news for the company after it has faced criticism over efficiency rates in adults over 65, as well as issues over blood clots. These issues led some E.U. countries to pause the rollout of the vaccine in their nations.

Today's results—on top of the review from the European Medicines Agency last week stating the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe to use—should give these nations a boost of confidence to keep inoculating their populations.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said "These results add to the growing body of evidence that shows this vaccine is well tolerated and highly effective against all severities of COVID-19 and across all age groups."

"We are confident this vaccine can play an important role in protecting millions of people worldwide against this lethal virus."

The recent trial was run by experts in the U.S., and should also provide more confidence for nations around the world to keep using the vaccine. Some countries had not even started administering AstraZeneca's vaccine citing lack of evidence of efficiency in adults over 65 years old. 

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Approximately one-fifth of the volunteers from this most recent trial were over 65 and showed that after two doses, they were as protected against COVID-19 as the younger volunteers. 

This may also be the good news the U.S. has been waiting for before giving AstraZeneca the green light to offer its vaccine in the country, which regulators could roll out in the next month or two.

Correction: The title previously stated "79% Efficiency" instead of "79% Efficacy". IE regrets this error.

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