Daily Management Review

Despite Questions On Its Trials Results, AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Still Supported By Britain And Other Nations


Despite Questions On Its Trials Results, AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Still Supported By Britain And Other Nations
Regulators in the United Kingdom have directed regulators to review AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine and decide on a potential roll out of the vaccine. On the other hand, millions of doses of the vaccine have been secured by the Philippines and Thailand.
These have reinforced confidence in the vaccine after questions were raised by the trial data of the vaccine by experts.
A targeted roll out of the vaccine developed jointly by AstraZeneca and Oxford University to begin before Christmas has been targeted by the UK government and has already secured 100 million of its doses.
"We have formally asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety standards," British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
"This letter is an important step towards deploying a vaccine as quickly as safely possible."
The development of vaccines against Covid-19 is viewed to be globally to be the best measure against the pandemic and particularly for many developing countries, the vaccine under developed by AstraZeneca is the best option because of the low price and the ability of the vaccine to be stored at transported at normal fridge temperatures.
26 million doses of the vaccine gave been secured by the Thai government in a deal that was signed on Friday. The pandemic has already killed more than 1.4 million people globally. 2.6 million doses have already been secured by them and they are trying to secure another 1 million doses, officials in the Philippines said.
These announcements were made after doubts about the robustness of results showing of the vaccine were raised wherein the company had revealed that the vaccine candidate was 90 per cent effective in a sub-group of trial participants who had received a half dose and then a full dose by an initial error.
In order to assess the efficacy of its vaccine using the lower dosage, an additional global trial was likely to be run by it, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday.
The results of the trails of the experimental vaccine of the company late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil showed that it was able to prevent 70 per cent of Covid-19 infections on the average
And even though the vaccine showed 90 per cent efficacy in the sub-group, it was hard to be confident in the findings because of the relatively small number of participants, some experts said.
Independent data safety monitors and the UK regulator had reviewed and approved the administering of the half dose, AstraZeneca said and added that the results presented "no concern" was confirmed publicly by the regulator.
The apparent confusion over the trial results was "very problematic for public confidence in vaccines", said Pauline Londeix, co-founder of French drug transparency group OT-Med.
"It has largely to do with the race drugmakers are engaged in currently, which leads them to present vaccine candidates in the best possible way and not release full protocols and results. It is the opposite of what is needed in our view."
However the success of the AstraZeneca vaccine was touted by Britain's top science adviser.  
"The headline result is the vaccine works and that's very exciting," Patrick Vallance said on Thursday during a news conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.