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AstraZeneca CEO says smaller first dose in COVID-19 vaccine is 'big plus'

·1 min read

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's chief executive officer Pascal Soriot said on Monday that the lower first dose of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine meant more people can be vaccinated more quickly, as the British drugmaker unveiled interim late-stage trial results.

"Being able to vaccinate more people faster is a really a big plus," he told a briefing.

The British drugmaker said on Monday its vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects.

The vaccine developed by Oxford University was most effective when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart, rather than as two full doses at least one month apart. (Reporting by Kate Kelland, Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Edmund Blair)