AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine key as third dose booster, new data suggests –official

The preliminary analysis of an ongoing safety and immunogenicity trial (D7220C00001) had shown that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, when given as a third dose booster, increased the immune response to Beta, Delta, Alpha and Gamma SARS-CoV-2 variants.

In a statement in Lagos on Wednesday, Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice-President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, said that a separate analysis of samples from the trial showed increased antibody response to the Omicron variant.

Pangalos explained that the results were observed among individuals previously vaccinated with either AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or an mRNA vaccine.

According to him, these data add to the growing body of evidence supporting AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a third dose booster, irrespective of the primary vaccination schedules tested.

He said that the company would be submitting these additional data to health authorities around the world, given the urgent need for third dose boosters.

“A separate Phase IV trial showed that a third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine substantially increased antibody levels following a primary vaccine series with CoronaVac (Sinovac Biotech).

“AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has protected hundreds of millions of people from COVID-19 around the world and these data show that it has an important role to play as a third dose booster, including when used after other vaccines.

“Given the ongoing urgency of the pandemic and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine’s increased immune response to the Omicron variant, we will continue to progress regulatory submissions around the world for its use as a third dose booster,” Pangalos said.

He explained that the D7220C00001 safety and immunogenicity trial showed that AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine continued to be generally well tolerated, saying that further analyses from the trial are expected in the first half of 2022.

Pangalos added that previous studies support AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a third dose booster, as part of a homologous or heterologous schedule.

“In a sub-analysis from the COV001 and COV002 trials, a third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine given at least six months after a second dose significantly boosted antibody levels and maintained T cell response.

“It also resulted in higher neutralising activity against the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants, compared with a two-dose regimen.

“The COV-BOOST trial also showed that a third dose booster of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine induced significantly higher immune responses compared with controls against the Delta variant and original strain, following a primary vaccine series of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or Pfizer BioNtech (BNT162b2),” he said.

Prof. Andrew Pollard, Chief investigator and Director, Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford, said these important studies showed that a third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after two initial doses of the same vaccine, or after mRNA or inactivated vaccines, strongly boosts immunity against COVID-19.

According to him, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is suitable as an option to enhance immunity in the population for countries considering booster programmes, adding to the protection already demonstrated with the first two doses.

Similarly, Barbara Nel, Country President, Africa, AstraZeneca, said that the latest AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine data showed that the vaccine, when used as a third dose booster increases the immune response against all variants of concern, including when used after other vaccines.

“This is of particular importance considering the spread of the Omicron variant.

“This is really positive news for Sub-Saharan Africa, where over 70 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied, and where countries are striving to attain their vaccination targets and some are beginning to roll out booster programmes,” Nel said. (NAN)

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