Recently, experts from Oxford University and the World Health Organization (WHO) shared that additional data would be required about AZD1222, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine originally developed by Oxford University, and its associated clinical trials ongoing. Recently, a smaller cohort of subjects under the age of 55 received an unintentionally lower dose of experimental vaccine, followed up by a full dose, while a larger cohort received two full doses. This kind of inadvertent mix-up concerns some watchers. Does it represent an underlying issue with the quality control of the global study? The vaccine was reported to be 90% effective in the former group while 62% effective in the latter cohort. The company’s CEO suggests the sponsor may invest in a new study investigating the lower dosage regime. Other backers declare focus on the fact that overall the vaccine candidate is producing good results.
CNBC was recently able to interview Regius Professor of medicine at Oxford University Sir John Bell who shared with the “Closing Bell” show that “There’s always a problem in announcing scientific results by press release and that is that you don’t have all the data out there and people aren’t able to really look and think about the data properly.”
AZD1222 is a thoroughly British vaccine having been developed in the laboratories of Oxford University. Recently, despite the recent twists and turns in the research effort, CNBC reports other British government ministers and experts stand behind the Oxford-created vaccine. After all, they post that regulators have considerably more information than the public and will have the final say on whether it’s approved at least for emergency use authorization. Given that the British regulator was requested recently to assess the vaccine for a provisional supply this could indicate activity for emergency distribution even prior to year’s end suggests CNBC.
Snippets Not of Help
Sir John Bell reminded all that taking a look here and there at AZD1222 that “The full data will be published in the medical journal so people can examine it. Taking snippets of data is not a helpful way to make an analysis of what’s actually going on.”
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Kate O’Brien, director of immunization, vaccines and biologicals concurred earlier declaring that press releases were certainly not an adequate method of conveying scientific information.
Concern in America?
Overall, the concerns in America, such as from Operation Warp Speed’s Mocef Slaoui as well as others indicate some concern over the age group involved in testing, trial mishaps and over all transparency of the sponsor. Could the AZD1222 potential rollout be delayed in America? Given competitors are pulling further ahead in the United States (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna), how does that impact AstraZeneca’s success?
Call to Action: Follow the link to watch the CNBC interview with Sir John Bell and Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer and participant in the study.