Its Covid-19 Vaccine May Not Be Perfect But Saves Lives, AstraZeneca Says

Even though the Covid-19 vaccine development by AstraZeneca may not be the perfect one but it will have a big impact on the pandemic, predicted the company’s chief executiveas the company assured of taking up measures to double supplies of its vaccine to more than 200 million a month by the month of April.

The vaccine developed by the company jointly with Oxford University has two doses and has been identified as a “vaccine for the world” because of its low price and the very easy ways of storing and distributing it compared to most of the other Covid-19 vaccines currently available.

But doubts over its most effective dosage and interval between doses have cats a show on the rapid approval of the vaccine in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Last week end there was also data that showed that the vaccine was less effective against the South African variant of the virus which is also a faster spreading one than the original while the company also got entangled on the issue of  supply delays with the European Union.

“Is it perfect? No it’s not perfect, but it’s great. Who else is making 100 million doses in February?” CEO Pascal Soriot said on a conference call about the vaccine. “We’re going to save thousands of lives and that’s why we come to work every day.”

The company expects to get hold of the much-anticipated data from the US trial of the vaccine before the end of March, AstraZeneca said, and added that it was confident relatively protection against severe disease and death for the South African variant would be offered by the shot. The vaccine however presented more disappointing results against milder cases of the disease.

Last summer, the company was propelled to become the most valuable company of Britain but has since dropped down to the sixth position which, according to some analysts, was because of the doubts that have been cast over its Covid-19 vaccine.

“In a year or two we will look back and everybody will realise we made a big impact,” Soriot said.

However after the company forecast an uptick in earnings growth this year based on anticipated strong demand for its cancer and other new therapies, the stocks of the company rose by more than 2 per cent.

The company had announced that it would not earn any money form the sale of its vaccine during the pandemic.

The company now expects a growth in its revenues for the current year in the low teens with predicted core earnings of between $4.75 and $5.00 per share. The fourth quarter sales of the company also beat market expectations.

The company had not included in its guidance its Covid-19 vaccine as the company said that the sale figures of the vaccine would be separately reported by it after the first quarter of 2021.

Even while the attention of the world has been on eth Covid-19 vaccine of AstraZeneca, the company had been able to stage a silent turnaround to years of decline by strong demand for its heart, kidney, and cancer medicines.

(Adapted from LiveMint.com)

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