AstraZeneca’s vaccine ordered by Morocco is 70% effective


Photo: Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Good news for Morocco, which has placed an order to acquire the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. The Anglo-Swedish drug manufacturer, which collaborates with Oxford University in Britain, announced on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is 70% effective.

The British laboratory, which unveiled the results of its latest study based on interim results of large-scale clinical trials carried out in the United Kingdom and Brazil, explained that for the two protocols used, one “shows 90% effectiveness while the second only achieves 62% effectiveness,” AFP reported.

AstraZeneca uses more traditional technology than these two competitors, which makes it less expensive and easier to store, since it does not need to be kept at very low temperatures. The pharmaceutical group believes that its vaccine is “highly effective” in preventing the disease and points out that “none of the participants in the trials developed severe forms or had to be hospitalized”.

Preliminary results are from trials involving more than 20,000 people, 131 of whom have contracted the disease. In total, large-scale clinical trials, known as phase III trials, involve 60,000 people worldwide, and are also being conducted in the United States, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and Latin America.

Thanks to a “simple supply chain”, the vaccine “will be accessible and available throughout the world”, says Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, quoted in the press release. The group will make rapid progress in the planned manufacture of 3 billion doses, available in 2021. Last week, in a statement to Reuters agency, the head of government announced that Morocco has placed orders for two vaccines against COVID-19: Sinopharm’s Chinese vaccine and AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Saadeddine El Othmani said Morocco is in negotiations with the American Pfizer. “We are seeking to acquire doses from three to four companies,” he said.

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