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What Investors Need to Know About the AstraZeneca Vaccine

By Adria Cimino - Apr 3, 2021 at 8:00AM

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How it works, authorizations, and supply deals.

In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on March 26, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina and Fool.com contributor Adria Cimino discuss how the AstraZeneca (AZN 2.14%) vaccine works, how it's transported, and other key elements about the product.

Corinne Cardina: Let's turn now to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine itself has been developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, and it's made a lot of headlines in the past couple of weeks. Before we get into clarifying some of the confusion out there, can you tell us a little bit about the vaccine?

Adria Cimino: Sure, sure. I'll start with how it works. Basically, scientists used a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees, and they modified it to include genetic material from the COVID spike protein. This enters the cells, they produce the spike, and then it results in an immune response. It's two doses at 8- to 12-week intervals, transported and stored at regular fridge temperature. It's authorized in more than 70 countries now. It's effective against the U.K. strain -- a little troublesome against the South African strain as far as minimal protection against mild to moderate illness. The University of Oxford, that developed the vaccine, is working on an update as far as that. As far as pricing, we're talking about $4 a dose. They are not taking a profit on this. They want it to be broad and equitable. They've also announced supply deals, they've got 400 million doses for the EU, 300 million doses for the U.S. 

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