Amid concerns over the efficacy of Oxford vaccine after pharma major Astrazeneca admitted a dosing error, its India partner Serum Institute of India (SII) said the vaccine candidate is safe and effective and the Indian trials are progressing smoothly with strict adherence to all protocols.
“The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is safe and effective. Even the lowest efficacy results are at 60-70%, making it a viable vaccine against the virus. That said, varied age groups with different dosage forms will result in slight variations and efficacy. We must be patient and not panic,” Pune-based Serum Institute of India said in a statement.
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“The Indian trials are running smoothly with strict adherence to all the necessary processes and protocols. So far, there are no concerns. However, we are going through the data that is available and will make further statement, if needed,” SII said.
Astrazeneca-Oxford vaccine candidate became the third one after Moderna, Pfizer to announce promising results to fight Covid-19. It claimed 70.4 per cent efficacy overall — 90 per cent efficacy in one dosing regimen when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later, while another dosing regimen showed 62 per cent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.
Later, Astrazeneca admitted that the administration of half dose and then a full dose — which showed 90 per cent efficacy — has been actually a dosing error.
As Astrazeneca is planning to run additional trials, Serum Institute of India has said there is yet no reason to worry as far as trials in India are going on.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visit the SII campus to review the mechanism of Covid-19 vaccine production and its distribution.