Health experts question results of U.S. AstraZeneca trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A U.S. health agency says AstraZeneca may have used “outdated information” in the results of a large-scale COVID-19 vaccine trial, casting fresh doubt on the shot, its potential U.S. rollout, and plunging its developers, once again, into controversy.

The highly unusual rebuke from federal health officials comes just one day after interim data from the drugmaker showed better-than-expected results from the U.S. trial which had been seen as a scientific counter to concerns that have dogged the shot since late last year.

According to the data, the vaccine developed with partner Oxford University was 79% effective in preventing symptomatic illness in the large trial that also took place in Chile and Peru. It was also 100% effective against severe or critical forms of the disease and hospitalization and posed no increased risk of blood clots.

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent committee overseeing the trial, has “expressed concern that

AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”

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