As we approach the end of 2020, we may also be thankfully approaching the end of the global crisis caused by COVID-19.
The pandemic has all but defined this strange and troubling year in world history. Nearly our entire civilization found itself affected by the horrific and highly contagious virus, sequestered away in quasi-solitude hoping to socially-distance this thing to death.
Now there is good news on the horizon, however, as a number of possible vaccines for COVID-19 are about to become available, with the latest announcement from AstraZenaca bringing with it a distinct advantage over the previous incarnations announced by Pfizer and Moderna.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective, buoying the prospects of a relatively cheap, easy-to-store product that may become the vaccine of choice for the developing world.
The results are based on an interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.
And here’s where it gets exciting:
AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as the world waits for scientific breakthroughs that will end a pandemic that has pummeled the world economy and led to 1.4 million deaths. But unlike the others, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t have to be stored at freezer temperatures, making it potentially easier to distribute, especially in developing countries.
Of course, there is still the problem of convincing enough of the population to get the vaccine, which could prove difficult – particularly here in the United States.
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