- AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told The Sunday Times over the weekend that he thinks the COVID-19 vaccine the company is developing could be 95% effective at preventing infection.
- Soriot also said the vaccine likely could protect against a new strain of COVID-19 that is thought to be more contagious and is spreading in the UK.
- AstraZeneca submitted vaccine data to UK health regulators last week. An emergency use authorization could be imminent, and the vaccine could roll out to UK citizens by early next week.
- Shares of AstraZeneca jumped as much as 4% in Monday trades.
- Watch AstraZeneca trade live here.
The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca could receive an emergency use authorization from UK regulators on Monday or Tuesday and roll out to UK citizens in the first week of 2021, according to The Telegraph.
AstraZeneca submitted data on its vaccine to UK regulators last week. And CEO Pascal Soriot thinks it will show that the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections – as high as the efficacy rate of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine.
“We think we have figured out the winning formula and how to get efficacy that, after two doses, is up there with everybody else,” Soriot told The Sunday Times over the weekend.
Soriot told the paper that the data would be published at “some point.”
Shares of AstraZeneca jumped as much as 4% in Monday trades, to $50.28.
Soriot added that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine likely could protect against a new strain of the virus that is thought to be more contagious and is spreading in the UK.
“We think the vaccine should remain effective” against the new strain, Soriot told The Sunday Times, adding that “we can’t be sure, so we’re going to test that.”
A highly effective COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca could hasten the rollout of vaccines to people around the globe, given that its two-dose vaccine, unlike the mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech, doesn’t require ultracold storage.
The AstraZeneca vaccine requires refrigeration of 36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit and can be stored for at least six months.
The US has entered a contract with AstraZeneca for 300 million doses of the vaccine, outpacing its orders for Moderna’s and Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines.