COVID-19 vaccine: Everything you need to know about the AstraZeneca debate
The end of the COVID-19 outbreak seems to be nowhere in near sight, and the neck-to-neck fight between vaccine manufacturers around the world has only intensified. Earlier this week, reports of Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford University's AstraZeneca vaccine proved to be 90 per cent effective, thereby delivering a novel breakthrough in the fields of science. However, amid the race to be the first vaccine that gets an emergency authorisation, several have ended up questioning the efficacy of these vaccines. While Pfizer's vaccine came with a host of side effects, Oxford battled with claims of incorrect information provided for AstraZeneca. However, if you're confused amid all the claim, we have a series of pointers to ease your confusion about the British-Swedish company's AstraZeneca vaccine:
1) Are there any unexplained side-effects?
A few weeks ago, Oxford suspended AstraZeneca's vaccine trial over an unexplained illness that the organisation encountered with two of their candidates. One of the candidates also suffered from a mysterious spinal inflammatory disorder. However, the individual in question has reportedly recovered, and the company resumed the trials based on the same. AstraZeneca is yet to deliver an explanation over this incident.
2) Is AstraZeneca concealing information?
A report published by Bloomberg revealed how a seemingly 'high effective half-dose' regimen was administered to candidates in a younger age bracket -- no older than 55 years old. The elderly, on the other hand, were given the full-dose test. Despite the same, AstraZeneca has said nothing about the vaccine in its release. This information, however, could've helped understand the effectiveness of the vaccine dose and how it works.
3) Is the lack of evidence claim real?
The data provided by AstraZeneca presented outcomes based on 11,000 participants, which are about half of the 23,000 involved in the trials. And while the data reads true, it is still not considered enough for the Phase III vaccine trials. The company also mentioned how it dealt with 131 COVID-19 cases during this course. However, they did so without clarifying if they're involved in the trials. The company has not spoken of revealing information about the rest of its numbers.
4) Is AstraZeneca dodging accountability?
Keeping everything in mind, the drug manufacturer is yet to change its stance and own up to the legal risks, or any damage, which could originate from its own mistakes during the clinical trials. It also requires to present its long-term research and effects to the public.
5) What about its perplexing statements?
AstraZeneca has made quite a few confusing statements about its half-dose regimen. The statements made by the company spoke about how the half-dose is seemingly more effective than the full dose of the vaccine. They announced the claim after the half-dose group results showed how the vaccine was 90 per cent efficient. This continues to perplex scientists, as the larger dose is supposed to have a more accurate result. However, the company is yet to explain this phenomenon among the others.