What we know about the AstraZeneca vaccine

Cheaper and easier to store, the so-called Oxford covid-19 vaccine is used by dozens of countries, including Brazil. The vaccine, called AZD1222, was developed by a team from the University of Oxford and the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The research team includes scientists from the Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group.

How does the Astra Zeneca vaccine work?

It is a vector vaccine. It was developed with a non-replicating chimpanzee adenovirus vector technology that is harmless to humans. It is a weaker version of the influenza virus common in chimpanzees and also contains proteins contained in the genetic material of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. After vaccination, the adenovirus enters a few cells of the human body. These cells use the gene to produce the Spike protein (tip on the surface of the virus). The immune system then recognizes it as foreign and, in response, produces antibodies and T cells, which ideally protect against infection with the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.

In how many countries has Astra Zeneca vaccine been marketed?

The Astra Zeneca vaccine has already been licensed in more than 70 countries on six continents, according to the company (as of March 14). The first country to grant approval was the United Kingdom on December 30 last year, followed by other major markets, such as the European Union and India.

How effective is Astra Zeneca's vaccine against the new coronavirus?

Astra Zeneca had to slightly correct the data on the effectiveness of its immunizer: it protects 76%, instead of 79%, against infections with the new coronavirus that show symptoms. This means that in a group of vaccinated individuals there were 76% fewer cases of disease than in the control group given a placebo. Among those over 65, the rate is much higher, reaching 85%. And the vaccine protects 100% against serious clinical disease.