AstraZeneca’s strong showing
IslamNews – A U.S. trial of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine found that it completely prevented the worst outcomes from Covid-19. No subjects in the trial reported serious safety issues.
More than 32,000 subjects participated in the trial, the largest yet for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Based on those results, it was 79 percent effective overall in preventing symptomatic infections. It also offered strong protection for older people, who had not been as well represented in earlier studies.
The company will soon seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration, even though the U.S. may not need the vaccine — doses are unlikely to become available before May, when federal officials predict there will be enough doses from the three vaccines that have already been authorized for all U.S. adults. But the results could help the vaccine recover from the safety scare it faced in Europe.
More than a dozen countries temporarily suspended the shot’s use over concerns about possible rare blood complications. Global confidence wavered, even though only a handful of people out of millions inoculated had any serious side effects. In India, for example, where AstraZeneca’s vaccine is one of two available, many people are currently skeptical of the shots as the country races to contain a second wave.
Alongside a public trust-building campaign from European officials, U.S. clearance would further burnish the shot’s reputation, as the F.D.A.’s rigorous review process is considered the global gold standard. Because of its low cost and simple storage requirements, the AstraZeneca vaccine is the backbone of vaccine rollouts in many poor and middle-income countries.
“This is the vaccine that will likely vaccinate the world,” Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, wrote on Twitter on Monday, adding: “If you were rooting for global vaccination, this is a good morning.”
Source: The New York Times