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AstraZeneca-Oxford Vaccine at 70% Efficacy

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Perhaps eventually someone will make a catchy marketing slogan for this time period, but for now I’ll use the term “Vaccine Monday.” For the third Monday in as many weeks, information on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate has been released, with good news once again: the joint effort between Cambridge, England-based AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) and Oxford University has produced an average 70% efficacy rate in immunizing patients against Covid-19.

This, of course, follows the Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) -BioNTech (BNTX - Free Report) report that first claimed 90% efficacy, later revised up to 95%. Then, Cambridge, MA-based Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) released 94% efficacy. These are all tremendous developments in what will eventually be a post-coronavirus world. For the AstraZeneca-Oxford study, one dosing regimen also demonstrated 90% efficacy. And the one very positive piece of news from this study is that the doses may be refrigerated at normal cooler temperatures. This vaccine is also different from the other candidates, in that it is not an mRNA treatment.

So far, 23K patients have participated in the trial. It is expected to climb to 60K before the trial is completed. AstraZeneca plans to produce 3 million doses next year, provided the remainder of the trial’s checklist is satisfied. Shares of AstraZeneca are down 2% in today’s pre-market, though market indexes overall are in the green at this hour.

It’s a holiday-shortened week of trading, in what is shaping up to be the best month of trading since April for the Dow and the S&P 500. Thanksgiving on Thursday, of course, is a national holiday, and stock exchanges will close at 1pm ET Friday — in what was recently (or still is) referred to as “Black Friday.” Thus, we’ll see jobless claims data a day early this week, on Wednesday.

And, oh yeah — today’s the day to take the turkey out of the freezer!

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