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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

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.

America can't quit polarizing politicians

Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New data finds that the nation's most polarizing politicians are often the ones that garner the most attention online.

Why it matters: Online engagement helps politicians build a bigger national profile and more fundraising power, incentivizing them be more outrageous, more polarizing and more divisive.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
1 hour ago - Science

It's time to take reproduction in space seriously

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Before humans can settle off-Earth, scientists need to figure out how — or even whether — people can reproduce in space.

Why it matters: Powerful figures in the space industry like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have dreams of a future where millions of people live in space, which would naturally require a self-sustaining population of humans somewhere other than Earth.