Oxford vaccine cuts COVID transmission: Study

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LONDON: The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine may reduce the transmission of the coronavirus by up to two-thirds, a study has suggested, marking the first time a jab has been shown to have such an effect.

The Oxford University study published on Tuesday, which is awaiting peer review, found that those who had been vaccinated with a single dose of the vaccine were 67 percent less likely to test positive with a PCR test.

The paper suggested the vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University in partnership with British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, may have a “substantial effect on transmission of the virus” as a result and also prevent severe disease.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the study, which also suggested the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot is highly protective after a single dose, showed “vaccines are the way out of this pandemic”.

“This news about the Oxford vaccine is absolutely superb,” Hancock tweeted. “This vaccine works & works well.”

The study also showed the vaccine was 76 percent efficient against symptomatic infection for three months after a single dose, a level which increased if the second shot was delayed.

The results from trials in Britain, Brazil and South Africa showed that immune responses were boosted with a longer interval between the two doses, among participants aged 18 to 55 years. “Vaccine efficacy after a single standard dose of vaccine from day 22 to day 90 post vaccination was 76 percent, and modelled analysis indicated that protection did not wane during this initial 3 month period,” Oxford academics said.