The dosage of ERROR by researchers in AstraZeneca-Oxford University's vaccine study has increased the success rate to 90%, said the company's vice president
- AstraZeneca scientist Mene Pangalos says "coincidence" led to a breakthrough
- "Mistake" helped scientists figure out that half a dose was more effective than a full one
- Further analysis was needed to explain why an initially lower dose was more effective
A dosing error by researchers at the University of AstraZeneca-Oxford's vaccine trial resulted in a huge increase in the success rate of the sting, according to the company's vice president.
Mene Pangalos, Head of Non-Oncology Research and Development at AstraZeneca said, "The reason we got half the dose is coincidence."
Volunteers in the UK were expected to receive two full doses of the vaccine as it was tested in hopes of funding a cure.
Dr. Pangalos says the research was stumped when it noticed volunteers reported much milder side effects, such as fatigue, headaches, and arm pain, than originally predicted.
He said, "So we went back and checked … and found that they underestimated the dose of the vaccine by half."
Dr. AstraZeneca's Mene Pangalos revealed a “bug” that resulted in a volunteer group receiving half of their first dose – but scientists later discovered that the dose was more effective than a full one
He said the team still decided to move this half dose group forward and deliver the second booster shot at the full dose at the scheduled time.
The results showed that the vaccine was 90 percent effective in this group, while a larger group that received two full doses had a 62% indication of effectiveness, resulting in an overall effectiveness of 70% across both dosage patterns, Pangalos said.
"This is essentially how we came across half-dose-full-dose (group)," he told Reuters.
"Yes, it was a mistake."
The vaccine uses a harmless adenovirus to deliver genetic material that causes the human body to produce proteins known as antigens, which are usually found on the coronavirus surface. This helps the immune system develop an arsenal against infection.
Pangalos said further analysis was needed to explain why an initially lower dose strengthened protection.
One possible explanation was that lower antigen levels initially triggered better overall immune system build-up, he added.
Oxford University confirmed that the cheap, easy to store, and easy to deliver batch can be approved by regulators in just a fortnight and administered the next month.
Britain has ordered 100 million doses of Oxford University's vaccine, with nearly 20 million due by Christmas
The UK has ordered 100 million cans, with nearly 20 million due by Christmas.
Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group and a professor who has conducted clinical studies for two decades, said that while the development of the COVID-19 vaccine was in some ways extraordinary, 2020 has been a "very long year" since the team started working on the vaccine in January.
That culminated last weekend, Pollard said, when "a huge mountain had to be climbed to bring all the information together" to release the data release released Monday, which suggests the vaccine can be up to 90% effective.
He added: “The past few weeks have been pretty exhausting. At this point the feeling is absolutely characterized by extreme tiredness and exhaustion.
& # 39; If the results hadn't met these regulatory requirements, they would have told us to keep trying. So it was a great relief. & # 39;
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