Researchers at the University of Oxford have published in Preprints with The Lancet an analysis of further data from the ongoing trials of the vaccine that reveals that the vaccine efficacy is higher at longer prime-boost intervals, and that a single dose of the vaccine is 76% effective from 22- to up to 90-days post vaccination.
Oxford said the findings of the pre-print paper supported Britain’s decision to extend the interval between initial and booster doses of the shot to 12 weeks.
In this preprint, which is currently under review at The Lancet, they report on an analysis of additional data to include information from the trial up to the December 7, 2020, which includes a further 201 cases of primary symptomatic COVID-19 (332 cases from 131 reported in previously). They report that the effect of dosing interval on efficacy is pronounced, with vaccine efficacy rising from 54.9% with an interval of less than six weeks to 82.4% when spaced 12 or more weeks apart.
They also detail that a single standard dose of the vaccine is 76% effective at protecting from primary symptomatic COVID-19 for the first 90 days post vaccination, once the immune system has built this protection 22 days after the vaccination, with the protection showing little evidence of waning in this period.
The exploratory analyses presented in this preprint suggest that it is the dosing interval and not the dosing level which has a great impact on the efficacy of the vaccine. This is in line with previous research supporting greater efficacy with longer prime-boost intervals done with other vaccines such as influenza, Ebola and malaria.
The authors also report further on the potential for the vaccine to reduce transmission of the virus, based on swabs obtained from volunteers in the UK arms of the trial with a 67% reduction after the first dose of the vaccine.
Oxford says it hopes to report data regarding the new variants in the coming days, and expect the findings to be similar to those already reported by fellow vaccine developers.
Read the Oxford University release