A coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK can prevent 70.4 per cent of people from getting Covid-19, according to new data.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced their jab is effective in preventing many people getting ill and it has been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly.
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by (Covid-19).
“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”
Oxford University said that interim analysis from its phase three vaccine trial shows that the 70 per cent effectiveness comes from combining two doses.
One was 90 per cent effective, the other 62 per cent.
The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine — enough to vaccinate most of the population — with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.
It also has orders for 40 million doses of a jab from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to be 95 per cent effective.
Another jab from Moderna is 95 per cent effective, according to trial data.
AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot, said: “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency.
“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”
Professor Andrew Pollard has said that no-one who had received the Oxford vaccine in the trials had required hospital treatment for Covid-19.
“We are really pleased with these results,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“What we have got is a vaccine that is able to protect against coronavirus disease and, importantly, there were no hospitalisations or severe cases in anyone who had the Oxford vaccine.
“So, that means that if we did have people vaccinated then certainly so far the results imply that we would be able to stop people getting severe disease and going into hospital.”