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Photo: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was found to be 79% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalization, according to results from its Phase III trial in the U.S. announced Monday.

Why it matters: The long-awaited U.S. data, which showed no serious side effects among the more than 20,000 participants who received at least one dose, could bolster global confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

The big picture: The shot has already been authorized by the World Health Organization and more than 50 countries, and has played a key rollout in the U.K.'s world-leading vaccine rollout.

  • It has not yet received authorization from the U.S. FDA, however, after questions emerged in early trial results when some participants mistakenly received only a half dose for their first shot.
  • Dozens of European countries temporarily suspended use of the vaccine last week following reports that a small number of patients who received the shot experienced rare blood clots.
  • The European Medical Agency later confirmed the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, and the U.S. data published Monday found no increased risk of blood clots among participants who received the shot.

Between the lines: The U.S. has already secured enough vaccine doses for every American, even without regulatory clearance for the AstraZeneca shot. On Thursday, President Biden agreed to send around 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada and 2.5 million to Mexico, amid growing pressure for the U.S. to share its massive supply with the world.

What they're saying:

“These findings reconfirm previous results observed in AZD1222 trials across all adult populations but it’s exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time. This analysis validates the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a much-needed additional vaccination option, offering confidence that adults of all ages can benefit from protection against the virus.”
— Ann Falsey, co-lead principal investigator for U.S. trial

What's next: AstraZeneca will submit its data to the FDA for an emergency use authorization in the coming weeks.

Go deeper: Why the AstraZeneca vaccine matters for the developing world

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 9 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.