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Oxford vaccine is safe & effective, independent analysis finds

Oxford vaccine is safe & effective, independent analysis finds

LONDON: The Coronavirus vaccine developed by British pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, is the first to have its late-stage trial results independently reviewed and published in a medical journal, according to reports in the foreign media.

The interim results from the phase three trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were published in The Lancet on Tuesday. Peer-reviewed means that articles or studies are reviewed by other experts in the field before being published, acting as another quality control measure for the findings.

The study reiterated the trial findings for the vaccine which were shared a few weeks ago, that showed an average effectiveness of 70 per cent in protecting against the Coronavirus.

It also reiterated the two dosage regimens used, with the two full doses showing 62 per cent effectiveness and 90 per cent efficacy shown with the half-then-full dose regimen.

Scientists working on the vaccine stressed the importance of "transparency" and data sharing within the scientific community. Researchers say the jab will have a "big impact" on the pandemic.

They hope the vaccine will be approved for use in the UK "within the coming weeks", reports suggest.

Nearly 12,000 volunteers have been taking part in the trial in both the UK and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother from Britain, has become the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine outside of a trial following its rapid clinical approval.

An early riser, Keenan received the jab at her local hospital in Coventry, central England, on Tuesday morning at 06:31 GMT, a week before she turns 91.

Britain began rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday, the first Western country to start vaccinating its general population in what was hailed as a decisive watershed in defeating the Coronavirus.

The mass inoculation will fuel hope that the world may be turning a corner in the fight against a pandemic that has crushed economies and killed more than 1.5 million, although ultra-cold storage and tricky logistics will limit its use for now.

"I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19," said Keenan.

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