Matt Hancock says Oxford vaccine ‘works and works very well’
Covid vaccination programmes have emerged as a source of pride for the Government, which has battled accusations of incompetence over the last year. Officials have approved and procured vast stores of several different vaccine candidates, with others now nearing final research stages with promising results. Most vaccines now available or in development have shown early signs of high effectiveness, but some more than others.
Which is the most effective Covid vaccine?
Covid vaccines are the most direct route to herd immunity, which should provide a path out of national or local Covid restrictions.
Building herd immunity requires at least 60 percent or more of the population to have received an effective vaccine, preventing infection transmission.
The World Health Organisation has provided a 50 percent minimum efficacy rate for vaccine candidates.
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A vaccine with this level of protection should be enough to make a difference to the global race against Covid.
The WHO revealed its standards in its “Target Product Profiles for COVID-19 Vaccines” document, which sets an ideal efficacy rate of 70 percent per candidate.
Most of the available vaccine candidates meet this with a single dose, which climbs to 90 or 95 percent with a second.
The current winner of most effective Covid jab is Moderna, which returned efficacy rates a fraction above Pfizer, which was first to deliver results in 2020.
People who have one dose of Pfizer’s jab will develop protection from roughly 52.4 percent of cases between their first and second doses.
Protection starts around 10 days following the initial jab, eventually providing an estimated 96 percent following a second.
Moderna, which returned its results not long after Pfizer at the end of 2020, boasted 80.2 percent protection after one dose.
Immunity jumps to 95.6 percent after a second shot, besting Pfizer by a fraction.
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The other operational candidate developed by teams from Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca offers 64.1 percent coverage after a single dose.
Two full doses provide 70.4 percent protection from the virus.
Clinicians found the best course of action with the AstraZeneca jab was to provide one half dose followed by a full one, which overall nurtures immunity to 90 percent.
AstraZeneca found people had protection from severe effects of the virus three weeks after a single dose.
They said: “High protection against hospitalisation was seen from 21 days after dose one until two weeks after the second dose, suggesting that a single dose will provide high short term protection against severe disease.”
Several other candidates have yet to receive full approval or roll out for the UK but suggest promising results.
The Novavax jab, also given in two doses, returned 89 percent efficacy in clinical trials.
Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose jab, developed with Jenssen, returned a 66 percent efficacy rate.
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