Latest AstraZeneca Report Supports Effectiveness Of COVID Vaccine : NPR

A patient will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in London on Wednesday. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images hide subtitles

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Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

A patient will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in London on Wednesday.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

The latest analysis of data from AstraZeneca confirms the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine and is roughly in line with the results published on Monday.

The latest analysis Finds the vaccine is 76% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effective against severe or critical illness and hospitalization. These results are very close to the results published earlier this week: 79% effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effectiveness against serious or critical illness and hospitalization.

An independent monitoring authority questions raised on the company’s release on Monday – the day after the company announced the higher rate of effectiveness – to say that there weren’t any more recent cases that were available.

Other scientists, including White House COVID advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the company knew 79% could be an exaggeration as it was based on outdated data.

“This is really what you call an easy mistake, as it is very likely to be a very good vaccine,” Fauci said on Good Morning America Tuesday.

The Data and Security Oversight Board asked AstraZeneca to recalculate their numbers using information based on the company’s March study, when more COVID cases were included in the study than on the previous report posted on the Statistics based on February.

The updated analysis includes 49 more cases of COVID-19 than Monday’s analysis, which reduced vaccine effectiveness rates by 3%.

The latest analysis does not provide details on side effects or adverse events. AstraZeneca only said it had not identified any safety concerns related to the vaccine.

Rare reports of blood clots after vaccination led some countries to stop using the vaccine earlier this month. The European Medicines Agency examined the adverse events and concluded last week that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks. This determination led most of the countries that had stopped the vaccine to restart vaccination with it.

It is possible that the efficacy results reported for the vaccine on Wednesday may change. The latest analysis is based on 190 cases of COVID-19 among the 32,000+ volunteers in the study. Fourteen more cases of possible or probable COVID-19 have yet to be assessed and included in the analysis.

AstraZeneca announced that it would present the results to a peer-reviewed journal within a few weeks.

However, the ultimate arbiter for the AstraZeneca data will be the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company is preparing to submit its data package to the agency in support of an application for approval of the vaccine for the emergency during the pandemic.

After the FDA reviews the filing, a committee of expert advisors to the agency would meet publicly and vote on whether the agency should submit an approval.

The agency would then make its decision. If it gives OK to the AstraZeneca vaccine, it would be the fourth to become available in the US to fight COVID-19.


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