WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine helps slow the transmission of the novel virus.

In a new study published this month, early data revealed that the vaccine may cut the spread of the virus by as much as 67%. This is the first time a COVID-19 vaccine has shown to reduce transmission. Researchers also found that a single dose of the vaccine is 76% effective at preventing the virus for three months.

KU School of Medicine-Wichita’s Clinical Researcher, Dr. Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt said this is a big step toward combating the spread of COVID-19.

“This is great news for us because one of our biggest concerns is always that asymptomatic transmission, that person that doesn’t know that they’re carrying the virus and is unintentionally passing it to other people in their day-to-day interactions,” said Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt.

She said this research shows just how important clinical trials are.

“All the information that we’re gathering from the clinical trials, that’s the data that we need to be able to present to the FDA to get it safe and effective, and hopefully be able to get this as another option of the vaccine out to the public here soon,” she said.

Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said the vaccine will go in front of the FDA to be approved for emergency use in the next few weeks. She said the new vaccine will also help mitigate some distribution challenges.

“It’s very stable so we don’t have to rely on the ultra cold storage and monitoring as much, it’s able to be stored in a refrigerator for up to six months, and at room temperature for up to six hours,” said Dr. Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt. “When this comes out to the market, it’s going to be so important because it can go into the primary care offices and that’s going to allow the distribution of this to be much easier.”

The vaccine has already been approved for use in the UK and Mexico.