On 3 February, interim results of a Phase III trial of AstraZeneca / Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine were released, confirming that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing Covid-19, according to an AstraZeneca press release. The primary analysis of the vaccine is likely to put pressure on other companies to demonstrate reductions in Covid-19 transmission as soon as possible.

While the efficacy profile of Pfizer / BioNtech’s Covid-19 vaccine may be higher after the second dose, the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine also demonstrated a reduction in asymptomatic transmissions, and healthcare providers are likely to be swayed. Other vaccines may have even more potent reductions in transmission, but more time will be needed for them to demonstrate this effect. This delay will benefit AstraZeneca.

Until the data for other vaccines become available, the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is likely to see increased global uptake due to its impressive efficacy in reducing severe disease, hospitalisation, and mortality, as well as reductions in transmission. This is especially supported by the vaccine’s low cost, which widens its scope.

GlobalData expects that the low cost of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine, at $16 less per dose than the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine, will allow it to be used in low-income countries where Covid-19 prevalence is high and access to expensive vaccines may be limited.

The AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is helping the world recover from the pandemic at a faster rate. As the vaccine uses a longer dose interval of 12 weeks, the increase in vaccine efficacy will allow for a higher proportion of individuals to be vaccinated and protected while waiting for their second dose. Its higher efficacy after just one dose also means a reduction in transmission among people who are waiting for the second dose of the vaccine.