AstraZeneca will likely get results of its U.S. Covid-19 vaccine trial in late-January and could potentially file for an emergency authorization, the chief adviser for the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program said on Wednesday. The British drugmaker and Oxford University have already published interim efficacy results from their UK trial in November, but the results have raised questions among scientists.bThe company said the vaccine could be 90% effective when given as a half dose followed by a full dose, based on a relatively small number of volunteers, while overall effectiveness was around 70%.
Speaking at a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services meeting, OWS chief adviser Moncef Slaoui said the large set of contrasting data coming out from the UK and Brazil trials may not be enough to ensure the vaccine receives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization.b“Unless there is a very clear explanation based on facts and data of what’s behind those two numbers (on efficacy), it’s very likely that package would not be sufficient for (FDA) approval,” he said.
Pfizer Slashes COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Target in Half After Supply Chain Issues
Pfizer expects to ship out only half of the COVID-19 vaccine doses it had initially planned for this year after running into supply-chain problems, a report said Thursday. The company said its initial projections of distributing 100 million doses worldwide by the end of the year has now been reduced to 50 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Scaling up the raw material supply chain took longer than expected,” a company spokeswoman told the newspaper. “And it’s important to highlight that the outcome of the clinical trial was somewhat later than the initial projection.” Despite the setback, the company said it’s still on track to roll out more than a billion doses worldwide in 2021, the newspaper reported.