Researchers at Oxford University in a recent study have stated that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for coronavirus is significantly slowing the speed of virus' transmission.
The study published in 'PrePrints with the The Lancet' reveals that administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has "substantially reduced" transmission of the virus. A statement by Oxford University says, "Analyses of PCR positive swabs in UK population suggests vaccine may have substantial effect on transmission of the virus with 67 per cent reduction in positive swabs among those vaccinated."
The researchers have noted that this is an important finding which will aid governments to push for mass vaccination, as the immunisation programme will not only reduce the number of deaths caused by COVID-19, but will also reduce the pace at which the virus is transmitted.
Researchers write that the vaccine efficacy is "higher at longer prime-boost intervals, and that a single dose of the vaccine is 76 per cent effective from 22 to up to 90 days post vaccination". The researchers explain that vaccine efficacy increased to 82.4 per cent after the administration of the second dose.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial and co-author of the study, said, "These new data provide an important verification of the interim data that was used by more than 25 regulators including the MHRA and EMA to grant the vaccine emergency use authorisation." Pollard was talking about the approvals given to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine given by United Kingdom and European regulators.
Pollard recommends giving people a booster shot within the 4-12 weeks of the administration of the first shot. "It also supports the policy recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for a 12-week prime-boost interval, as they look for the optimal approach to roll out, and reassures us that people are protected from 22 days after a single dose of the vaccine," added Pollard.
The Indian variant of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - Covishield - was approved by the country's drug regulator in January for emergency use. Serum Institute of India is producing the vaccine in India and it has already been administered to lakhs of people as part of the country's mass vaccination program which commenced on January 16.