In terms of operation, price and efficacy, the COVID-19 vaccine from the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) differs from its key rivals. This can be a business gain, especially in emerging markets.
Investors took a neutral view of the announcement by AstraZeneca that its vaccine against COVID-19 is around 70 percent successful. The reality is that the efficacy of most competing vaccines is above 90%. As a result of two phases of testing, the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine was revealed. At the same time, 90 percent efficacy was also demonstrated by the group of people who received just half the dose initially, which is roughly the same as the percentage of competitors.
AstraZeneca does however have other benefits that may make this vaccine widely available. This is first of all, another theory of action based on chimpanzee adenovirus and not on the RNA synthetic matrix (mRNA). This is a more studied operating theory, known for nearly forty years. This is likely to make sure that AstraZeneca receives approval more easily from regulators.
The encouraging outcomes of research are also worth considering. Studies have shown that the AstraZeneca vaccine prevents transmission of COVID-19 even to those who do not have symptoms. In addition, the vaccine protects people of all ages: the same number of antibodies was produced by young and old patients in trials.
The simplicity of transportation is another benefit of AstraZeneca. The company’s vaccine does not require special conditions for transport and storage, which means that it can become the only alternative available in developing countries where medical logistics are imperfect.
But perhaps AstraZeneca’s key advantages are the low price and production volume. AstraZeneca has vowed not to make a profit during the pandemic, while Pfizer and Moderna have signed deals for vaccines priced between $20 and $40 per dose. The vaccine will be priced at around $2.5 per dose. Investors are also impressed by AstraZeneca’s production plans: the company is ready to manufacture 200 million doses by the end of 2020 and 700 million by the end of March 2021. The company expects to produce 3 billion doses for the entire next year. AstraZeneca currently has a deal to supply the United States with 300 million doses and Europe with 400 million.
Thus, because of its low price and easy transportation, the AstraZeneca vaccine could become the preferred option for many developing regions. Thanks to its production potential, this is a big demand that the company can provide. Even if the final efficacy is about 70 percent, the effectiveness of conventional flu vaccines is much greater than that of traditional flu vaccines (about 40-60 percent). This means that such a vaccine against COVID-19 is highly likely to be accepted as a mass vaccination tool by regulators in many countries.
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) stock closed the Tuesday trading at $54.72.