Published: Mon, March 22, 2021

4th coronavirus vaccine candidate reports successful USA trials

4th coronavirus vaccine candidate reports successful USA trials

UK Health Minister said the government wanted to calm rising tensions amid claims of vaccine "nationalism". There were 32,449 participants enrolled in the Phase III trials in the U.S., Chile, and Peru.

More than 15 European countries halted the use of the AstraZeneca injections last week pending an investigation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine showed 79% efficacy against symptomatic disease and 100% efficacy against severe disease and hospitalization in a new, US-based clinical trial, the company said Monday.

AstraZeneca has not yet sought approval for vaccines produced at Halix to be used in the European Union, but EU officials said the request was on its way.

Starting on March 23, nursing hospital workers and patients over 65 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"This analysis validates the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a much-needed additional vaccination option, offering confidence that adults of all ages can benefit from protection against the virus", Ann Falsey, a professor of medicine and co-lead principal investigator for the trial, said.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president for biopharmaceuticals research and development at AstraZeneca, 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.

Many countries have embraced the AstraZeneca vaccine because of its lower cost and easier shipment and storage requirements, which do not include the extra-cold conditions necessary for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

But it has been in the spotlight in the past week in Europe following reports of rare strokes called cerebral venous sinus thromboses (CVST) and clotting disorders in people who had received the vaccine.

We expect the European Union to stick by their commitments and I'm sure the Prime Minister will be in contact with European counterparts - he speaks to European counterparts regularly- but I don't think this debate is helpful to anybody.

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine is one of three vaccines that's approved in the EU.

"A great deal of anxiety and extraordinarily hard decision-making could have been avoided by doing a trial like this right from the start, as there was for other vaccines", Bastian says.

"I am not going to get into hypotheticals but our position is clear is that we do not want to see countries placing export restrictions on vaccinations", he said.

Von der Leyen said pharma giant AstraZeneca had delivered only 30% of the 90 million vaccine doses it had promised for the first quarter of the year.

She said: "Both the EU and the United Kingdom have contracts with AstraZeneca and my understanding is the company is supplying the United Kingdom but not the European Union".

Meanwhile, EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness has urged all sides to "calm down" as no decisions have been taken on a ban as of now.

"Just go get your vaccine y'all, so that you could come out here and have a good time like us because we vaccinated, baby", Jalen Rob, a student from Texas, told AFP.

"The grown-up thing would be for the European Commission and some of the European leaders to not indulge in rhetoric but to recognise the obligations that we all have", he told The Andrew Marr Show.

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