AstraZeneca vaccine shows strong immune response in elderly, appears safe in study

Good news for older adults in Covid-19 vaccine trial

Oxford vaccine produces "strong immune response" in older adults

Pfizer, working with Germany's BioNTech SE, said Wednesday that a final analysis of trial data showed its Covid vaccine was 95% effective, paving the way for the company to apply for the first U.S. regulatory authorization for a coronavirus shot within days.

However, Sinopharm said that the data from large-scale, late-stage clinical trials for its unit's COVID-19 vaccine are "better than expected".

But the agency has nearly no experience granting emergency use for vaccines and has laid out extra standards it will use to make decisions on upcoming COVID-19 shots.

Pfizer's shares closed up 1.4% and BioNTech shares ended 9.6% higher in NY, as the possibility of a vaccine soon raised hopes for the end of a pandemic that has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives in the United States and over 1.3 million worldwide.

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"I think the reason we are so delighted is that the immune responses look exactly the same, even in those over 70 years of age". "A total of 40,000 people will participate in this trial in 7 countries, of which 8 to 10, 000 will be Pakistani", he said.

As China rushes to keep up with the global race to find a coronavirus vaccine, a state-owned drugmaker is reporting promising results for a candidate after administering doses to almost a million people in the country.

Although the results indicate the vaccine is likely to be protective, the trial data is now "blinded", meaning even the researchers do not know who has been immunised and who was given a placebo. The US FDA had set minimum bar for efficacy of 50%.

"This is a historic day, a historic day for science and for all of us", Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a video shared on Friday.

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None of the infected patients who received the vaccine developed severe Covid-19, while 11 (12%) of those who received the placebo did.

Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots, both of which use new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA), AstraZeneca's is a viral vector vaccine made from a weakened version of a common cold virus found in chimpanzees.

The study's lead author, Andrew Pollard from the University of Oxford also told The Guardian, "Immune responses from vaccines are often lessened in older adults because the immune system gradually deteriorates with age, which also leaves older adults more susceptible to infections".

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