The new AstraZeneca vaccine has finally received provisional approval for its usage in Australia, as announced by The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently. This approval makes it available for everyone who is 18 years of age with a high preference for people over 65 years of age. This vaccine has two doses and the recommended time between the first and second dose is between four to twelve weeks.
Following are five important things to know about the new AstraZeneca vaccine by Oxford research.
Easy storage conditions
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which is also called the “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine” and “AZD1222” is made from adenovirus extracted from chimpanzees. This virus is modified making it capable of causing a strong immune response when the body is exposed to coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2.
One thing which makes it different from the Pfizer vaccine is that it has easy storage conditions and can be stored at temperature 2-8℃ which is also the temperature of the refrigerator. Pfizer vaccine on the other hand requires extremely cold temperature for its storage, which is why health experts believe that the new AstraZeneca vaccine will reach faraway areas and help people where Pfizer vaccine can’t reach.
It is safe for older adults
The phase two trials conducted on human participants ensure the safety of this vaccine, especially for older adults that are most likely to suffer from vaccine reactions. However, the phase three trial of this vaccine didn’t have a significant amount of older people as participants, so there is no clear evidence if it is equally effective in older people as it is in younger. Many on-going studies are analyzing the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine right now and soon the results will be out.
Difference between the two doses is significant
The preliminary studies on this vaccine found it to be 62% efficient when administered in two doses. But the difference between these two doses can change its efficacy. A preprint manuscript found that the standard three-month difference between the doses makes its efficiency nearly 82.4% but this difference is reduced to less than one and a half months, the efficiency becomes 54.9%. This data is not reviewed by the peers yet but it shows that the time between doses can affect its working.
Safety from mutated strains
As coronavirus continues to mutate, it was first thought that this vaccine would fail to protect from the new variants. But the pre-clinical multi-center trials from South Africa reveal that this vaccine can mild to moderately help against mutated strains. For other, British and Brazilian variants, its efficacy is better and equally well as against the original coronavirus.
End of a pandemic
While most companies have launched their Covid-19 vaccines, the question of the future of pandemic is hot in discussions. The results of the new AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine are promising and there are high chances that these vaccines will help people to develop immunity and finally end this global pandemic.