What We’re Reading: GSK Partners With CureVac; Oxford Updates Efficacy Results; Pharmacies to Receive Vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and CureVac will partner to accelerate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine production; new data show 76% efficacy for Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine; 1 million vaccine doses will be sent to 6500 pharmacies.

GSK, CureVac to Produce COVID-19 Vaccines

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that German biotech firm CureVac will help to both produce 100 million additional doses of its current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine and jointly produce a new vaccine to target variants of the virus, reports STAT. A target delivery date of 2022 is projected for the newest vaccine. This is the latest of several partnerships meant to accelerate delivery of vaccines to fight the pandemic. Sanofi and Novartis both announced last week that they are partnering with BioNTech/Pfizer, and CureVac, which is still trialing its mRNA vaccine, has enlisted Bayer’s help.

Oxford, AstraZeneca Announce Updated Data

Interim study results of ChAdOx1 nCoV-10 (AZD1222), published in The Lancet, show a 76% efficacy rate at 3 months after just 1 dose of the experimental vaccine from Oxford University. Antibody results were also shown to have remained consistent in the 3-month follow-up period, at which time efficacy increased to 82.4% following a booster dose, and there was a lesser likelihood of disease transmission, according to The Washington Post. Phase 3 efficacy trials of the potential vaccine are underway in the United Kingdom and Brazil, and phase 1/2 clinical trials are ongoing in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The investigators hope to establish a similar plan if the vaccine is approved, with the booster dose being delivered 12 weeks after the initial dose.

Nationwide Pharmacies to Receive Vaccine Doses

By next week, nationwide pharmacies that include CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Costco, and several supermarket chains could receive 1 million doses of available COVID-19 vaccines, according to The Associated Press. Eligibility will be determined, however, by state and local guidelines, with one of the top priorities being minority communities, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. CVS alone will receive a quarter of these doses for 11 states.