The race of the great laboratories to obtain a effective vaccine it is at its peak. At the beginning of the week we saw how Moderna assured that her vaccine had achieved a 94.5% effectiveness in preliminary analyzes. On the other hand, Pfizer and BioNTech confirmed 48 hours later that the vaccine in which they work together had increased its percentage of effectiveness up to 95% during the last tests. Today it was the Oxford University vaccine that wanted to surprise the world with new data.
According to the medical journal ‘The Lancet’, the vaccine against COVID-19 in which the British university works in collaboration with AstraZeneca has been shown to be safe in healthy older people. In addition, it is confirmed that it is capable of generating an immune response thanks to the results of an experiment carried out between 560 healthy adults, of which more than 240 are over 70 years of age.
The dispute for the fastest and most effective vaccine
It all seems like good news, but the first theories about a possible speculation between the two projects begins to flutter among the experts. It cannot be denied that the data on the stock market of pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna, Pharmamar and Biotech it has only increased over the past few weeks to record highs. Among all this display of effectiveness, the world is involved in a second wave that only on Tuesday left 435 deaths in Spain.
On this topic, Joan Pons, an Oxford vaccine volunteer, wanted to draw her own conclusions in an interview we conducted on As.com. The 45 year old nurse He is the only Spaniard who is part of the previous vaccination experiment and he confirmed that the treatment of Oxford and AstraZeneca was one of the most encouraging, both in efficiency and in price.
“It costs a lot of money to make a vaccine, and if Oxford can sell it at cost, the other pharmaceutical companies are not going to be able to get back all they have invested.”
Quite clearly, Pons speaks of the possibility of a “media battle” that could lead to a fight between pharmaceutical companies to get the maximum profit. “You have to put politics aside, as this is about saving lives,” said Pons.
Price comparison between vaccines
Pons wanted to emphasize that “there is room for all vaccines. It is not known if ‘Sputnik’ will be better for young people, that of Pfizer for another group … Therefore, the more ammunition there is to attack this virus and end it, better”. However, he claims that one of the outstanding qualities that make the Oxford vaccine a favorite among governments around the world (Spain has bought 31 million) is the price.
“The advantage of the Oxford vaccine is that it does not have shareholders behind it. Therefore, it is acquired at a cost price that allows it to reach the whole world”
Approximate prices of vaccines against covid-19 AS.com
According to the statements of AstraZeneca CEO, Pascal Soriot, the vaccine they are developing could have a price that would revolve around the three euros. Pons himself confirmed it in the interview: “One of the important differences with respect to the rest is that with the Oxford vaccine you cannot make a profit. That is why it will cost about 3 euros. They are already producing it to cut time, they do not want to wait for the European Medicines Agency for the license, since every day that passes, more people die. ”
The importance of effectiveness and symptoms
The new study published by ‘The Lancet’ ensures that the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine is very effective in the most vulnerable volunteers, that is, adults over 70 years of age. According to the Spanish volunteer: “It has been shown that the safety and protection of the vaccine is very good at all ages. Even better in those over 55 years of age, since it produces double protection. What is not yet known is whether it is effective. It seems that yes, the vaccine is doing what it had to do. “
This is where the so-called T cells come into action. According to Pons, “the vaccine stimulates cells that the body does not naturally produce. These are the T cells and they are very important in protecting the body from the virus. They are like the elite body because they detect and kill cells that can harm us. “
“The safety and protection of the vaccine has been shown to be very good at all ages”
Regarding side effects, the University of Oxford has confirmed that common symptoms are: fatigue, headache, muscle pain and fever. Pons himself commented in the interview that in his case it included nasal congestion that was coupled with a slight headache.
Possible dates and priorities for distribution
Another aspect that everyone wants to know about the vaccine is the date of distribution. The Spanish volunteer drew his own conclusions on this issue. “Oxford wouldn’t have asked for the data to be reviewed if we weren’t very close. So the vaccine It could be before the end of the year, I think before Christmas “, the nurse declared.
According to Oxford estimates, the first vaccines will be for health workers and later they will reach those over 55 and patients with chronic diseases. Once all this group has been vaccinated, it is when the vaccine would begin to be distributed among the rest of the population.
It should be noted that said distribution will depend on each country and its preferences. Pons makes his own estimates: “I believe that a vaccination in general throughout the month of April. We just have to wait for the European Medicines Agency to decide that it has enough data to say yes to the license. “