AstraZeneca is likely to start new large-scale vaccine research

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Pharmaceutical AstraZeneca is likely to start a new large-scale study into the effectiveness of its candidate vaccine against covid-19. The Reuters news agency reports this on the basis of an interview by Bloomberg with AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot.

On Monday, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford claimed the effectiveness of their vaccine could be as high as 90 percent. That claim was based on an interim analysis of the initial research data.

In recent days there has been concern about that claim. The vaccine would provide 90 percent protection in subjects who first received half a dose of the vaccine and a whole dose a month later. In people who received a whole dose twice, it would be only 62 percent effective.

Subsequently, different media stated that the mean age of the group receiving one and a half doses would be lower than that of the group receiving two full doses. Because younger people are generally less susceptible to the virus, this may give a biased picture.

AstraZeneca CEO Soriot tells Bloomberg that a new study is now needed to investigate whether the lower dose actually works better.

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