The Covid vaccine Petra Moinar prepares syringes with the AstraZeneca vaccine before it is administered on March 8, 2021 at the Battersea Arts Center in London, England.
Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images News | Getty Images
AstraZeneca’s Covid shot, dubbed the “Vaccine for the World”, has had high hopes since its inception. However, unlike other coronavirus vaccines, the shot developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has been plagued from problem to problem.
AstraZeneca’s problems began almost as soon as preliminary trial data was released and have continued ever since.
The drug maker “seems to be having a real PR problem in the US and Europe,” Sunaina Sinha Haldea, managing partner of Cebile Capital, told CNBC on Thursday, warning that its “PR problem is raising confidence in the vaccine outdoors could undermine “the UK”
Here is a timeline of all the issues that AstraZeneca has encountered over the past year:
AstraZeneca published an interim clinical trial analysis showing the Covid vaccine had an average effectiveness of 70% in protecting against the virus. The result was initially welcomed by the global community, which was already supported by positive results for the recordings by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
Upon further examination, it became clear that the 70% figure came from the combination of the analyzes of two separate dosage regimens within the experiments. One dosing regimen showed 90% effectiveness when subjects received half a dose followed by a full dose at least a month apart. The other showed 62% effectiveness when given two full doses at least a month apart.
AstraZeneca admitted that the half-dose regimen was a mistake, but described it as a “useful mistake” and a “coincidence”. It drew criticism However, from US experts and AstraZeneca’s arbitrary notification of the bug, it was arguably the beginning of his reputational problems.
beginning of January The UK began with the launch of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. It had an added bonus for the country: the majority of its cans would be made in the UK.
It wasn’t long, however, before a dispute over supplies with the European Union began after reports that the drug maker was failing to make its contracted supplies to the bloc.
There was a very public dispute over contractsBeginning of a saga about the bitter relations between the EU and Great Britain and the Anglo-Swedish drug manufacturer. The EU has made waves suggesting AstraZeneca is rerouting supplies from the UK to the block.
90 year old Margaret Keenan is greeted by staff as she returns to her ward after becoming the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at University Hospital Coventry, UK December 8, 2020.
Jacob King | Reuters
AstraZeneca worries continued this week – even though they started at a high level for the drug maker. On Monday, the results of a large U.S. study showed the vaccine was safe and highly effective, raising hopes that it could soon seek U.S. approval for the shot.
On Tuesday, however, a The US Department of Health said AstraZeneca may have included “out of date” information in the trial resultsCast doubts on the published efficacy rates.
AstraZeneca replied that the numbers released Monday “were based on a pre-determined interim analysis with a February 17th data deadline,” and said they would share their primary analysis within 48 hours of the most recent efficacy data.
On Wednesday, the company released updated third-phase trial data for its Covid-19 vaccine, showing that its vaccine is 76% effective – slightly lower than the 79% rate published on Monday.
The problems facing AstraZeneca could continue as EU leaders virtually meet on Thursday to discuss possible vaccine export bans that could hit the drug maker. However, the EU and the UK said on Wednesday that they wanted to find a “win-win” solution to the supply problem.
The negative coverage of AstraZeneca has led some viewers (and certainly the UK media) to point out that post-Brexit vaccine has become a target for negative sentiment in Europe directed against the UK. It has also been suggested that the shot may be the victim of vaccine nationalism in the US, where rival shots originated Moderna and Pfizer– –BioNTech arise (although BioNTech is a German company).
Regardless of the underlying causes, AstraZeneca’s reputation has been badly damaged.
As Shore Capital health analysts said in a note Thursday, “Any confusion about results can quickly turn into concerns about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, even if those concerns are not based on solid evidence.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine was “particularly badly affected by confusion about the data reported. Importantly, this confusion can lead to an erosion of trust in vaccines, which are proven, life-saving drugs.”