Daily US Times: Experts have warned that AstraZeneca’s repeated missteps in reporting coronavirus vaccine data coupled with a blood clot scare could do lasting damage to the credibility of a vaccine that is the linchpin in the global strategy to stop the Covid-19 pandemic, potentially even undermining vaccine confidence more broadly.
The latest stumble for the AstraZeneca vaccine came Tuesday, when officials in the United States issued an unusual statement expressing concern that AstraZeneca had included “outdated information” when it reported encouraging results from a US trial a day earlier.
According to the statement, that the missteps may have provided “an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”
AstraZeneca responded that the US trial results, which showed its vaccine was about 79% effective, included information through February 17 but appeared to be consistent with more up-to-date data. The company promised an update within 48 hours.
An independent panel that oversees the study scolded AstraZeneca in a letter Monday for cherry-picking data, a senior administration official said. The panel wrote to US health leaders and AstraZeneca that it was concerned the company chose to use data that was potentially misleading and outdated instead of the most recent findings, the official said on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.
Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said: “This will likely cause more vaccine hesitancy.”
Even if the damage is limited to the company itself, it would have far-reaching effects since the vaccine is cheaper and easier to store than many of its rivals’.