Preliminary results on a third coronavirus vaccine, this one from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, show promise. This is no less exciting for being the third, behind Pfizer and Moderna: The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge too big to be quickly ended by one effective vaccine. We need every possible tool against it, and AstraZeneca’s has some key benefits.
The vaccine showed average 70% effectiveness across trials of two different dosages. Interestingly, the less effective regimen, at 62%, used two full doses a month apart, while the more effective option, at 90%, was a half dose followed by a full dose a month later. If that result holds, it could mean more people being vaccinated. Importantly, it’s much cheaper than either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, while the others can only be stored at refrigerator temperature for a limited time.