By Dr. Max Gomez

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is some potentially good news on the COVID-19 front. Another vaccine may be nearing emergency authorization in the U.S.

Better yet, it may also help prevent the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: Gov. Murphy Announces COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expanding To Teachers, More Essential Workers

But as CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday, there are still some questions about the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

COVID VACCINE

The AstraZeneca vaccine, actually developed with technology pioneered by the University of Oxford in England, has already been authorized for use in the United Kingdom. Now the company has submitted a not-yet-peer-reviewed pre-print study detailing the results of its various vaccine clinical trials and the results are encouraging.

MORE: New Pre-Print Study Suggests COVID Reinfection Is Not That Rare

Researchers say the AstraZeneca vaccine not only protects recipients from serious illness and death, but also significantly reduces transmission of the virus, a key finding to slow the spread of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Some May See Even More Money From Potential Economic Relief Package

The slowed transmission was found by swabbing participants every week, looking for signs of the virus. No virus meant no spread, even if the person was, themselves, infected. Those results showed a two-thirds reduction in transmission. We don’t yet know if the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines affect transmission.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

And even though this is a two-shot vaccine, a new study from England’s University of East Anglia that analyzed Israeli data found there was significant effectiveness three weeks after the first dose, supporting Britain’s plan to delay the vaccine second dose.

But the AstraZeneca results have been dogged by inconsistencies in the data. Why was a half-strength first dose much more effective than a full-strength shot? Why did a longer interval between doses seem to improve effectiveness from 55% to 82%?

Experts caution that more data analysis is needed before the Food and Drug Administration can decide that this vaccine, which is very different than the Pfizer and Moderna versions, can be authorized here. That’s not expected to be submitted to the FDA until some time in March.

MORE NEWS: COVID Anniversary: New York Marks 1 Year Since 1st Case, With Vaccine Hope On Horizon

More From CBS New York:

Dr. Max Gomez