Coronavirus vaccine: Oxford jab to cover ‘more people’ thanks to doses breakthrough

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The coronavirus vaccine Oxford University developed in partnership with AstraZeneca was found to have 70 percent effectiveness overall among trial participants. Study lead Prof Andrew Pollard said a subgroup in the trials had reported 90 percent of effectiveness after a change in the dose distribution regime. Prof Pollard suggested a half-dose/full-dose system could not only improve protection among the population but also allow more people to receive the jab.

Speaking to the Today programme, he said: “When we use the regimen where we gave a half dose first and then gave a full dose as a second dose a month later, we had a much higher protection, about 90 percent protection.

“The thing that’s interesting about that is, first of all, it appears to be much higher but also it would mean we’d have much more doses to distribute if that way of vaccinating were approved.

“When we set out, we thought that too high a dose would give the best results and so we’ve incorporated all levels of data into that 70 percent figure and so the regulators have to look at all of the data and take those decisions.

“Certainly, from what we see so far, that subgroup appears to have higher protections with half a dose.”

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