Concerns raised about AstraZeneca's vaccine data

NOW: Concerns raised about AstraZeneca’s vaccine data

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- In April of 2020, the global biopharmaceutical business, AstraZeneca announced they would develop a vaccine to help tackle the coronavirus.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine is the newest entry into the market now. We’re just hearing about it now, but it’s been around a long time, it’s the most commonly used vaccine in Europe,” South Bend Center for Research Clinic Medical Director Dr. James Harris.

According to company yesterday, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is 79% effective against symptomatic disease and 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalization. But an independent board appointed by the National Institutes of Health found that those numbers may be inflated and a review is underway. South Bend Center for Research Medical Director Dr. James Harris said there’s still a lot of research that needs to be done.

“The reports they have is that it’s 79% effective and that’s difficult to compare that to the united vaccines because the numbers done match up exactly and the studies are done a little bit differently,” Dr. Harris.

The vaccine ran into its first problem earlier this month when a number of European countries temporarily suspended their rollout due to reports that the vaccine was causing blood clots in patients after receiving their shot.

“I think there’s things about AstraZeneca we need to know more about, there’s some data that needs to be investigated further about their study but ultimately i don’t think it’ll turn out to be a problem, i think it just needs further analysis before they release it to the market” Dr. Harris.

However, Dr. Harris said despite the differences and some recent setbacks, it doesn’t take away from what the vaccine could bring to the table.

“I think ultimately this will turn out to be an excellent vaccine and it’ll be a great addition to the current vaccines that we have already,” Dr. Harris.

The president of the company announced on CNBC on Monday, they plan to apply for Emergency Use Authorization in mid-April.

“It’s going to rapidly accelerate the delivery of the vaccines across the country and so we knew upfront that it would take more than one or two companies to meet the need, meet the demand if we wanted to shut down this pandemic so I think the addition of AstraZeneca really is a welcome, a relief,” Dr. Harris said.

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