AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is 100% effective against serious disease, US trial shows paving way for approval there

ASTRAZENECA and Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine is 100 per cent effective against severe disease, a US study has shown.

The jab was also found to be 79 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic illness – paving the way for approval in the US.

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The fresh data comes after a string of European countries resumed use of the vaccine following unsubstantiated blood clot fears.

AstraZeneca today said an independent safety committee conducted a specific review of the blood clots in the US trial, and found "no increased risk of thrombosis".

More than 32,000 people across all age groups took part in the trial in the US, as well as Chile and Peru.

Volunteers received either two standard doses of the AstraZeneca jab or a placebo vaccine at a four-week interval, researchers said.

AstraZeneca said it will be submitting the full results to regulators at the US Food and Drugs Administration – paving the way for emergency approval for use.

Andrew Pollard, who runs the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: "These results are great news as they show the remarkable efficacy of the vaccine in a new population and are consistent with the results from Oxford-led trials.

"We can expect strong impact against Covid-19 across all ages and for people of all different backgrounds from widespread use of the vaccine."

The results come as the EU threatened to block AstraZeneca vaccine exports to Britain.

The European Commission said it would ensure a jab facility in the Netherlands would keep the remedies in the EU.

Run by drugs firm Halix, the Leiden-based plant is listed as a supplier of vaccines in both the contracts that AstraZeneca has signed with Britain and the European Union.

An EU official said: “The Brits are insisting that the Halix plant in the Netherlands must deliver the drug substance produced there to them. That doesn’t work.

“What is produced in Halix has to go to the EU.”

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen threatened to join forces with France and Germany to hold hostage over 19 million AZ jabs scheduled to be shipped to the UK.

Number 10 has told the EU to “grow up” over their blockade threats as their rollouts continue to fall behind Britain’s.

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