AstraZeneca (Nasdaq: AZN) has updated the efficacy rate for its vaccine, noting that it's slightly less effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 than it said earlier, after facing some heat from the federal government.
The U.K-based company, which is developing the vaccine with the University of Oxford, said today that its product is 76% effective at preventing symptomatic coronavirus in its “primary efficacy analysis.” The latest analysis included 49 additional symptomatic cases among 32,449 individuals that were tested in a Phase 3 trial, according to the company.
On Monday, AstraZeneca said that the efficacy rate was 79% in what it called a “pre-specified interim analysis.”
After AstraZeneca unveiled the original data, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was worried it included “outdated information,” and was possibly misleading.
There have also been some worries that AstraZeneca’s vaccine may cause blood clots. Canada was the latest country to draw concern over that matter.
But still, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not appear to be overly concerned, even if the vaccine isn’t as effective as originally thought.
“At the end of the day, you know, when you look at the data, this is going to turn out to be a good vaccine,” the U.S.’s top infectious disease official said during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Wednesday.
But most importantly, AstraZeneca reiterated today that its vaccine is 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and severe disease. Thus far, no deaths or hospitalizations have been reported from the U.S. FDA-approved vaccines of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).
That bodes well for AstraZeneca, which said it would submit its data to the FDA for emergency use authorization in the “coming weeks.” If all goes well, AstraZeneca could deliver tens of millions of doses to the U.S. by the end of next month.
"Based on current projections, assuming [emergency use authorization], we expect to deliver up to 50 million doses by the end of April," Ruud Dobber, the president of North America business for AstraZeneca, told Congress members in February, as cited by MarketWatch.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine has already been green-lighted by the U.K., the European Union, and the World Health Organization.
Intraday, the stock in AstraZeneca was trading 1% higher at $49.23 per share.