- Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said clinical trials in the UK and Brazil showed its Covid-19 vaccine, being developed with Oxford University, had an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against the virus.

One dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, and another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart, the company said.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70%.

No hospitalisations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine, the company said.

There were a total of 131 Covid-19 cases in the interim analysis. An independent data safety monitoring board determined that the 'analysis met its primary endpoint showing protection from Covid-19 occurring 14 days or more after receiving two doses of the vaccine,' the company said. 'No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed. AZD1222 was well tolerated across both dosing regimens.'

AstraZeneca said it would now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that had a framework in place for conditional or early approval.

The company would seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results was being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, it added.

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