An AstraZeneca boss has dismissed growing criticism of their coronavirus vaccine and insisted it meets the ‘threshold for approval’, after experts raised concerns over the ‘shaky science’ behind it.
Oxford scientists announced their vaccine – which is being manufactured by AstraZeneca – was up to 90% effective. But the figure is based on ‘patched together’ data from 2,300 volunteers under 55 who were given a half-dose and then a full-dose by accident. The error was only spotted when it emerged some participants were experiencing fewer side effects.
Hilda Bastian, a scientist and writer for the British Medical Journal, claimed data from the Oxford trial had been ‘patched together’ and excludes results from the most vulnerable groups.
Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president for research said: ‘The mistake is actually irrelevant. Whichever way you cut the data – even if you only believe the full-dose data – we still have efficacy that meets the thresholds for approval.’
The criticism comes as an exclusive poll conducted by Unredacted shows 1 in 4 Brits are unlikely to take a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.