What we don’t yet know about the Oxford vaccine

We have become used to Mondays bringing good news on the vaccine front. But the publication of interim results from the Astra Zeneca/Oxford University vaccine – AZD1222 – will certainly please the UK government. Not merely because this is the home-grown option and we have already ordered 100m shots, but because, shot for shot, it is considerably cheaper to buy and administer than the other vaccine candidates. The vaccine itself is less than a fifth of the price of the Pfizer vaccine. Moreover, it does not need storing and transporting at minus 70 Celsius – it can be kept at ordinary fridge temperatures (2 to 8 Celsius), greatly facilitating any

There’s nothing wrong with profiting from a vaccine

A couple of shots to the arm and this will all be over. With today’s news from Moderna, last week’s from Pfizer, and with a potential update from AstraZeneca in the next few days, we may soon have three vaccines against Covid-19 (and if you add in candidates from Russia and China perhaps more). And yet, it turns out, that some people are already fretting about potential side effects from that. And they don’t just mean a mild fever or muscle ache. They mean something far, far nastier. Profits. While most of us have been feeling a lot better about the epidemic over the last week, Jeremy Corbyn seems most

Ross Clark

Have Moderna outdone the Pfizer vaccine?

Another week, another set of preliminary results from a Covid-19 vaccine trial. This time it is the Moderna vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. And, to judge by the figures put out by the company this morning, it has outdone the Pfizer vaccine in its efficacy. Out of the 30,000 people involved in the phase three trial (half of whom were given the vaccine and half of whom were given a placebo), 95 went on to contract Covid-19. Of those who became infected, 90 were in the control group and only five had been given the vaccine. Eleven participants had a severe case of Covid, all of whom were in the control group.