Daily US Times: AstraZeneca insisted that its coronavirus vaccine provides strong protection against Covid-19 even after counting additional illnesses in its study in the United States, as the drugmaker responded to concerns raised by US officials in an unusually public rebuke that threatened to further erode confidence in the vaccine.
In a late-night press release Wednesday, the company said it had analyzed more data from the US study and concluded the vaccine is 76% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, instead of the 79% it had reported earlier in the week.
Some experts called the new analysis from the company reassuring and said the updated details did not look substantially different from what was announced earlier. A peek at the full data won’t come for at least another few weeks, once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) begins its own stringent review.
For now, it is unclear if the new figures will be sufficient to repair the credibility in a vaccine that, despite being widely used in Europe, Britain and other countries, has had a troubled rollout. The vaccine faced a credibility crisis recently.
Earlier this week, an independent panel that oversees the US trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine had accused the Swedish-UK drugmaker of cherry-picking data to tout the protection offered by its shot.
The panel, in a harsh letter to the company and to health leaders of the US, said AstraZeneca had left out some coronavirus cases that occurred in the study.
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