It got hold of Oxford University’s brilliant minds decades of effort to offer them the knowledge to discover a Covid-19 vaccine. In the end, it was a minor mistake – and a dose of good fortune – that took them over the line.
Adrian Hill, director of Oxford University’s Jenner Institute which developed the shot, said, “It can only happen if extraordinary support is provided.” “We had pretty well the whole institute in Oxford working on this vaccine.”
Finally, the team behind the AstraZeneca-developed vaccine explained how they got its success rate from 60% to 90% by sheer chance. Mene Pangalos, head of AstraZeneca’s non-oncology research and development, said, “The reason we had the half dose is serendipity.” “The plan was for trial participants in Britain to receive two full doses, but researchers were perplexed when they noticed that side effects, such as fatigue, headaches or arm aches were milder than expected.”He added, “So we went back and checked … and we found out that they had under-predicted the dose of the vaccine by half. The results showed the vaccine was 90 per cent effective among this group, while a larger group who had received two full doses produced an efficacy read-out of 62 per cent, leading to an overall efficacy of 70 per cent across both dosing patterns. “That, in essence, is how we stumbled upon doing half dose-full dose. Yes, it was a mistake.”