AstraZeneca upbeat on Covid-19 vaccine
The British drug maker AstraZeneca said it should have 200-m doses by the end of 2020, about four times as many as US competitor Pfizer. About 700-m doses could be ready across the world by the end of the first quarter of 2021. According to trial data the vaccine was 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later. The vaccine’s cost to governments works out at just a few dollars a shot, a fraction of the price of shots from Pfizer and Moderna, which use a more unconventional technology, reported Reuters (23 Nov 2020). It can also be transported and stored at normal fridge temperatures, which proponents say will make it easier to distribute, especially in poor countries.