AstraZeneca, a Swedish-British pharmaceutical company, has announced an average 70% efficacy in pivotal trials of its vaccine and it could be up to 90% effective. This COVID-19 vaccine candidate (AZD1222) was co-developed with Oxford University.

In the third phase of clinical trials, the effectiveness of the AZD1222 vaccine varied depending on the vaccination schedule. According to the scheme, when trial participants received a full dose of the vaccine in two injections with a monthly interval, the efficacy was 62%. The second scheme, when the participants received half dose of the vaccine, and then the full dose after a month, showed an efficiency of 90%. The overall vaccine efficacy with both regimens was 70,4%.

In total, 23,000 volunteers in the UK and Brazil took part in the AZD1222 tests. After the second dose of the vaccine, 131 trial participants fell ill, of whom 101 received a placebo, and 30 received the vaccine, the company said in a press release. The pharmaceutical company also reported no serious side effects and that the vaccine was well tolerated in both groups vaccinated on different dosage regimens.

In a press release, AstraZeneca separately emphasized the advantages of its vaccine against the coronavirus products of competing companies Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is significantly cheaper: Moderna estimates the cost of its vaccine from $25 to $37, Pfizer at $18, and the dose of AstraZeneca vaccine will cost about $4 per dose.

"The Company is making rapid progress in manufacturing with a capacity of up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 on a rolling basis, pending regulatory approval. The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings," the blog said.