AstraZeneca vaccine: Experts raise questions about data for University of Oxford collaboration

Vaccine experts – including those who serve on US advisory committees – have questions about data released by AstraZeneca about its COVID-19 vaccine.

In a press release on Monday, the pharmaceutical giant announced that its vaccine is on average 70 per cent effective.

However, the company did not state the data that led them to that conclusion.

“Absent knowing this, it’s hard to know the significance of their findings,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which will review COVID-19 vaccines before they are put on the American market.

When two other pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, released their efficacy results earlier this month, they did include the data that led to their results.

Medical syringe is seen with AstraZeneca logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on November 16, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Credit: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Testing process

The AstraZeneca vaccine is also being produced for the Australian market.

In its Monday press release, AstraZeneca presented an analysis of 23,000 participants in its Phase 3 trial.

Some participants received the COVID-19 vaccine, while others received a different kind of vaccine or placebo injections — shots of saline that do nothing.

Then an independent board of experts determined to what extent the group that received the COVID-19 vaccine was protected against the disease.

Australian PM Scott Morrison tours AstraZeneca laboratories in Macquarie Park, Sydney in August.
Australian PM Scott Morrison tours AstraZeneca laboratories in Macquarie Park, Sydney in August. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/AAPIMAGE

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