Olivier Nataf, president of Astrazeneca in France, said the vaccine his company is developing in collaboration with Oxford has shown promising results.
Nataf said in an interview with France-Presse that the vaccine’s results prove its efficacy in a two-dose protocol, where a half-dose is administered first and then a full dose after one month. Indeed, the effectiveness of this protocol is 90%, while the effectiveness of the two full-dose protocol with one month of alternating doses is 62%.
He added: “This is very interesting, because we can follow the protocol and give half a dose and then a second full dose. This will improve the chances of vaccination, since there are fewer doses to vaccinate a larger number of people.”
He stressed that the vaccine provides 100 percent protection against severe symptoms and hospitalization for participants who have been vaccinated.
He indicated that the last point to mention is safety, as the vaccine had no side effects in any of the two dosing regimes.
He said the company will produce 3 billion doses by 2021, worldwide.
The goal of the company’s initial agreements with various governments and nongovernmental organizations was to supply the vaccine as soon as the final results of the clinical trials come out, and especially the evaluation by health authorities.
Regarding the distribution of the vaccine and the cost, he said it would be a commitment, not a strategy, and that it would cost about 2.5 euros per dose, so that the vaccine would be accessible to all.