AstraZeneca released updated data showing its vaccine protected 76% of clinical trial participants from symptomatic coronavirus infections after a rift with regulators, Politico reports.
The pharmaceutical giant revised its efficacy rate down from 79% to 76% but said the estimated efficacy among people over 65 increased from the interim data from 80% to 85%.
The analysis found 190 infections among nearly 33,000 participants in its stage 3 trial and 14 “additional possible or probable” infections still being evaluated that could affect the overall results.
The company said the data shows its vaccine is 100% effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations.
The vaccine is expected to be approved by regulators in the coming weeks. The company says it has 30 million doses ready to go with another 50 million in the coming weeks and between 15 million to 20 million in subsequent months.
The Trump administration already signed a deal to buy 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Data comes after rift:
The updated data came after an unusual midnight statement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is overseen by Dr. Anthony Fauci, accusing the company of cherry-picking favorable data.
The government scientists said the company used “outdated information” from an interim analysis from mid-February instead of the more recent results, which showed a slight dip from its 79% efficacy claim.
“The issue that the DSMB had is straightforward and very simple: The DSMB had data that they know the company had. When they saw the press release, they said, ‘wait a minute — the data in the press release do not reflect the most recent data that we know you have,'" Fauci said at the time.
Docs worry about PR:
The NIH statement came after several European countries temporarily halted the use of the vaccine after reports of blood clots, though regulators found no evidence the vaccine is linked to the development of blood clots.
Public health experts have expressed concern that the company’s data blunder, which followed a previous rift with government scientists after it mixed different trial results together and delayed its approval, risks worsening vaccine avoidance.