AstraZeneca is under fire from U.S. health experts who claim the pharmaceutical company used outdated data on the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine.
The allegations came to light on Tuesday morning from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The NIAID stated that the Data and Safety Monitoring Board had notified AstraZeneca of their questionable data that showed their COVID-19 vaccine to be 79% effective.
“The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data,” the NIAID’s statement read. “We urge the company to work with the DSMB to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible.”
According to the New York Times, AstraZeneca was sent a two-page letter with claims that they only used data that was “most favorable for the study as opposed to the most recent and most complete.” The letter also stated that the vaccine’s true effectiveness rate is around 69% to 74%.
Dr. Fauci addressed AstraZeneca’s data controversy on Good Morning America.
“They got concerned and wrote a rather harsh note to [AstraZeneca] — and with a copy to me — saying that, in fact, they felt that the data that was in the press release were somewhat outdated and might in fact be misleading a bit, and wanted them to straighten it out …” Fauci said. “It really is unfortunate that this happened. This is really what you call an unforced error because the fact is this is very likely a very good vaccine … This kind of thing does … really cast some doubt about the vaccines and maybe contribute to the hesitancy. It was not necessary.”