Groundbreaking success for the University

Oxford University, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, has created a groundbreaking vaccine shown to be effective against COVID-19 – demonstrating 70.4% efficacy when combining data from two different dosing regimens (efficacy was 90% in one regimen and 62% in the other). This new effective vaccine against COVID-19 is also easily distributed and administered. The production of the vaccine has relied on the decades of in-depth research and expertise that Oxford is renowned for. 
Over 23,000 people have been involved in the trial so far in the UK, Brazil and South Africa to ensure results are valid for different regions of the world and for different ethnic groups. Further trials are continuing in the United States, Kenya and Japan and we expect to have included more than 60,000 participants by the end of the year.  
More than 280 staff members from the University have been working on this vaccine, led by Professors Andrew Pollard (St Cross College Vice-Master), Adrian Hill and Sarah Gilbert. Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: ‘These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply. Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.’
With our goal being to create a vaccine that helps as many people as possible around the world, it will be available on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic. AstraZeneca has agreements in place to supply three billion doses of the vaccine by the middle of next year. This offers real global potential for saving lives, including those of older adults who are most at risk from the virus. 
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Photo: John Cairns