WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A fourth COVID-19 vaccine could soon join in the fight against coronavirus in the United States.
AstraZeneca said Monday that trial results show the vaccine provided strong protection against the disease and complete protection against hospitalization and death across all age groups
The company said the independent review found no safety concerns with the shot and it plans to file for emergency approval in the U.S. next month.
The significant news about the vaccine was just the thing Dr. Larry Bush had been hoping for.
"It's satisfying for me as an infectious disease specialist," Bush said.
He is the lead investigator of the vaccine trial in Palm Beach County, which had 350 volunteers, and 32,000 nationwide.
Data on the trial now shows the vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford in England, is 79 percent effective.
"Perhaps more importantly it was 100 percent effective in preventing anybody from getting severe disease or dying," Bush said.
Among those who volunteered for the trial in August in Palm Beach County was Barry Snyder. He reported only slight discomfort after the first shot.
"We hope in a small way we made a difference, and I think everything has been validated," Snyder said. "We were always optimistic, ... but it was a bit of a relief this morning."
AstraZeneca has had issues with trials in other countries with some concerns over blood clots in Europe.
However, Bush said those suspicions were proven to be false.
"They looked at the actual data and realized the amount of people getting blood clots who got vaccine was actually lower than the general public and the vaccine was reintroduced," Bush said. "The bottom line is it's a very effective and safe vaccine."
If it gets emergency approval in the U.S., the vaccine would join vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson that are already being distributed.
"It can be shipped to doctors' offices, walk-in clinics, anywhere because you put in the refrigerator for six months," Bush said.