AstraZeneca now says its COVID-19 vaccine is 76% effective


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AstraZeneca PLC, which has been under fire for the accuracy of its data, on Wednesday night announced updated Phase 3 trial data of its coronavirus vaccine, saying it’s 76% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

AstraZeneca AZN, -1.23% also said its vaccine had 100% efficacy against severe disease and hospitalizations, and that for patients older than 65, it had 85% efficacy against the virus.

“Positive high-level results from the primary analysis of the Phase III trial of AZD1222 in the U.S. have confirmed vaccine efficacy consistent with the pre-specified interim analysis announced on Monday,” the company said in a statement, adding that it would submit its data for emergency-use authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks.

On Monday, the British drug maker said its vaccine had a 79% efficacy rate. But Monday night, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it was concerned that AstraZeneca had released “outdated information,” and the company was accused of cherry-picking data.

At the time, the company said the figures were based on a “pre-specified interim analysis” and said it would share the results of “a primary analysis with the most up-to-date efficacy data” on Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci — who is the head of the NIAID — said AstraZeneca’s vaccine is good, even if its efficacy rate wasn’t as high as it originally claimed. “At the end of the day, you know, when you look at the data, this is going to turn out to be a good vaccine,” Fauci said during Wednesday’s White House COVID-19 briefing

“The primary analysis is consistent with our previously released interim analysis, and confirms that our COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in adults,” AstraZeneca executive Mene Pangalos said in a statement Wednesday.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has also been the subject of worry over possible blood clots. But an EU regulator last week declared the drug “safe and effective,” and in its announcement Wednesday night, the company said “The vaccine was well tolerated, and no safety concerns related to the vaccine were identified.”

AstraZeneca’s data came from a study of more than 32,000 people.