Daily US Times: AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine shows a hint that it may reduce transmission of the virus and offers strong protection for three months on just a single dose, researchers said on Wednesday in an encouraging turn in the campaign to suppress the outbreak.
The preliminary findings from Oxford University, a co-developer of the Covid vaccine, could vindicate the British government’s controversial strategy of delaying the second dose for up to 12 weeks so that more people can be quickly given a first dose.
Up to now, the recommended time between the two doses has been four weeks.
The research could also bring scientists closer to an answer to one of the big questions about the vaccination drive: Will the vaccines actually curb the transmission of the coronavirus?
It is not clear what implications, if any, the findings might have for the two other major vaccines being used in the West, Moderna’s and Pfizer’s.
In the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, dismissed the idea of deliberately delaying second shots, saying the United States will “go by the science” and data from the clinical trials. The two doses of the Moderna and Pifzer vaccines are supposed to be given three and four weeks apart.
Still, the research appears to be good news in the desperate effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus and also suggests a way to ease vaccine shortages and get shots into more arms more quickly.
The makers of all three vaccines have said that their shots proved to be anywhere from 70% to 95% effective in clinical trials in protecting people from Covid-19 caused by the virus.