AstraZeneca jumps 4% after CEO says its COVID-19 vaccine will reach efficacy of 95%

AstraZeneca ceo Pascal Soriot.JPG
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot in London in 2014.

  • The COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca could be 95% effective in preventing the virus, CEO Pascal Soriot told the Sunday Times over the weekend.
  • Soriot also said he thinks the vaccine could protect against a new strain of COVID-19 that is more contagious than the original and is spreading throughout the UK.
  • AstraZeneca submitted vaccine data to UK health regulators last week and emergency use authorization could be imminent, with a roll-out to UK citizens expected by early next week.
  • Shares of AstraZeneca jumped as much as 4% in Monday trades.
  • Watch AstraZeneca trade live here.

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca could receive emergency use authorization from UK regulators by Monday or Tuesday this week, with a rollout of the vaccine to UK citizens expected in the first week of 2021, according to The Telegraph. 

AstraZeneca submitted its COVID-19 vaccine data to UK regulators on December 23, and CEO Pascal Soriot believes data will show the efficacy of its vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infections is as high as Pfizer & BioNtech’s at 95%.

“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 newspaper. 

Data for the vaccine will be published at “some point,” Soriot told the paper.

Shares of AstraZeneca jumped as much as 4% in Monday trades to $50.28.

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Soriot added that he believes AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will protect against a new strain of the virus that is thought to be more contagious than the original strain 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 efficacious COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca could hasten the rollout and administration of vaccines to people around the globe, given that the two-dose vaccine doesn’t require ultra-cold storage like the mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech. 

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 their vaccine, outpacing its 200 million order for Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech’s vaccine.

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