BRITAIN’S biggest drugmaker AstraZeneca faces growing questions over its Covid-19 vaccine data after it admitted that it had made a mistake over the dosing in clinical trials.
On Monday, November 23, AstraZeneca reported efficacy of 90% IF half a dose was given followed by a full dose a month later, while a different trial showed efficacy of 62% if two full doses were given a month apart. Calculating an overall efficacy of 70%.
AstraZeneca and scientists at Oxford University, which developed the vaccine, could not explain the large gap in the effectiveness of the vaccine at different doses or why a smaller dose produced much better results.
Fewer than 2,800 people received the smaller dose, the company disclosed, compared with nearly 8,000 who received two full doses, however, it did not reveal how many Covid-19 cases were found in each group.
AstraZeneca’s head of biopharmaceuticals research & development, Menelas Pangalos, told the New York Times: “The reality is, it could end up being quite a useful mistake. It wasn’t putting anyone in danger. It was a dosing error. Everyone was moving very fast.
“We corrected the mistake and continued on with the study, with no changes to the study, and agreed with the regulator to include those patients in the analysis of the study as well.
“What is there to disclose? It actually doesn’t matter whether it was done on purpose or not.”
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