AstraZeneca’s Stock Soars as Vaccine Shows 79% Efficacy Rate in US Study

Clinical Trial - Vaccine: Covid-19, Coronavirus in vial with syringe on white background.
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AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine demonstrated 79% efficacy in a U.S. trial, and the company is preparing to submit these findings to the Food and Drug Administration to be granted Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S.

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Following the announcement of the findings, AstraZeneca’s shares (NASDAQ: AZN) were up 2.35% this morning.

“These findings reconfirm previous results observed in AZD1222 trials across all adult populations but it’s exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time,” Ann Falsey, professor of medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, and co-lead principal investigator for the trial, said in a statement. “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.”

The findings also show that the vaccine efficacy was consistent across ethnicity and age. Notably, in participants aged 65 years and over, vaccine efficacy was 80%, according to a statement. In addition, it shows a 100% efficacy at preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

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The vaccine’s distribution was halted last week in several European countries following reports of blood clots. The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee held a meeting on March 18 and said the vaccine was “safe and effective.”

“As the European Medicines Agency has clearly stated today, the benefits of the vaccine in combating COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks of side effects. It is an effective and safe vaccine that greatly contributes to the efforts to address the impact of COVID-19 and the very serious health risks of an infection,” Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in a statement announcing the agency’s findings.

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The U.S. study conducted a specific review of thrombotic events as well as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, with the assistance of an independent neurologist, according to the statement, and found “no increased risk of thrombosis or events characterized by thrombosis among the 21,583 participants receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.”

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“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,” Mene Pangalos, executive vice president, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said in the statement. “We are confident this vaccine can play an important role in protecting millions of people worldwide against this lethal virus. We are preparing to submit these findings to the US Food and Drug Administration and for the rollout of millions of doses across America should the vaccine be granted US Emergency Use Authorization.”

If approved this would be the fourth vaccine granted an EUA in the U.S.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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