AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to be approved this week after a breakthrough boosted the vaccine’s effectiveness from 70 percent to over 90 percent. CEO Pascal Soriot also stated the company’s vaccine candidate should be effective against the new coronavirus strain that has emerged in the UK. While optimistic, Soriot states that more tests need to be done to ensure it protects against the newest strain.
Researchers Find “Winning Formula” to Increase Vaccine Effectiveness
AstraZeneca’s vaccine trials showed that their candidate is only 70 percent effective while Moderna and Pfizer’s reaches over 90 percent effectiveness. This is likely because Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccine are mRNA vaccines which provide stronger immunity by helping the immune system create proteins that trigger an immune response against the virus.
In contrast, AstraZeneca’s vaccine follows the more traditional path of injecting a weakened version of the target virus in order to teach the immune system how to fight it. However, a report by the Associated Press states that AstraZeneca researchers have found a “winning formula” to raise its efficacy rate past 90 percent.