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It took Oxford University’s brightest minds decades of work to give them the expertise to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. In the end, it was a momentary error — and a dose of good fortune — that carried them over the line.

The Oxford vaccinologists were exhilarated on Monday when drugmaker AstraZeneca, with whom they developed the shot, announced that it could be around 90% effective, citing data from late-stage trials.

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