U.S. health officials question AstraZeneca data
The British-Swedish drugmaker plans to apply in the coming weeks for its COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorization in the United States. On Monday, AstraZeneca announced a study of mostly Americans showed the shot was 79 percent effective at preventing symptomatic cases of the disease. But just after midnight, the U.S. National Institutes of Health released a statement saying the company “may have included outdated information from the trial.”
What does this mean for the vaccine? AstraZeneca said it would release more up-to-date information within 48 hours. In addition to analysis from the NIH’s data and safety monitoring board, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will also review and debate the evidence from AstraZeneca before deciding whether to allow its use in the country. Three other COVID-19 vaccines have already received emergency use authorization from the FDA. When reporters have asked, AstraZeneca has declined to release a breakdown of the 141 cases it said proved the vaccine is effective.
Dig deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings explaining the differences between the three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States.
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