COVID-19: New studies show AstraZeneca’s efficacy matches mRNA vaccines

An expert review of data from 79 studies showed that AstraZeneca vaccine and the available mRNA vaccines provide equally effective protection against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 following two doses.

The study shows that the AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines offer an equivalent of 91 to 93 percent protection against hospitalisation and death regardless of age.

The data from the VIEW-hub database on vaccine use and impact, developed by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the International Vaccine Access Centre, was reviewed by infectious disease experts from across Asia.

The data available at the time of review relates to the Delta COVID-19 variant and earlier variants. Although, emerging data on third dose boosting from the UK Health Security Agency and Brazil indicates similar findings on serious COVID-19 outcomes resulting from the Omicron variant.

Guy Thwaites, director of the Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam and one of the study’s authors, said: “COVID-19 vaccines have been critical to helping save lives and return the world to some normalcy over the past year. Our expert review shows that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and available mRNA vaccines provide similar, high-level protection against life-threatening COVID-19”.

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“This is important information for policymakers as they consider the optimal deployment of COVID-19 vaccines in their populations over the next 12 months,” he said.

According to John Perez, senior vice-president and head of Late Development Vaccines and Immune Therapies Unit at AstraZeneca, real-world data offer crucial insights into the effectiveness of vaccines, including the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are pleased that these data continue to show high levels of protection against severe clinical outcomes and further our understanding of the important role that vaccination plays in the containment of COVID-19,” he said.

The VIEW-hub platform is updated on a weekly basis to include global real-world studies on vaccine effectiveness. The platform is not currently designed to capture the safety outcomes of these studies, preventing similar safety comparisons.

AstraZeneca and its global partners have released over three billion vaccine doses to more than 180 countries. Approximately two-thirds of these doses have been delivered to low and lower-middle-income countries.

Based on model outcomes, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is estimated to have helped save over six million lives between December 2020 and December 2021.