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AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine is no more – but its remarkable success must not be forgotten | Robin McKie

Although dogged by controversy, the firm’s coronavirus jab saved the lives of millions and helped avert humanitarian crises in nations unable to access costly alternatives

Last week’s announcement that AstraZeneca would no longer market its Covid vaccine brings an end to one of the century’s most remarkable medical stories. Created within a year of the arrival of the pandemic, the AZ vaccine was cheap, easily stored and transported, and helped stave off humanitarian crises in Asia and Latin America, where many countries could not afford the more expensive mRNA vaccines that were being snapped up by rich western nations. It is estimated that it saved 6.3 million lives in 2021 alone.

Yet from the start the vaccine – created by research teams led by Professor Andy Pollard and Professor Sarah Gilbert at the Oxford Vaccine Centre – was dogged by controversy. It was linked to blood clots, US observers criticised protocols for its trials, and French president Emmanuel Macron claimed it was “quasi-ineffective” for people over 65. In fact, the vaccine is particularly effective for the elderly.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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