Global confidence in AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine could be boosted by FDA EUA, says GlobalData

The approval of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 will boost confidence and use of the vaccine globally. Such an approval will also motivate uptake in countries within vaccine alliance Gavi, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Interim analysis for AZD1222 on 25 March showed the vaccine to be 76% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. However, initial interim results made public on 22 March showed that it was 79% effective.

Arafa Salam, PhD, Infectious Diseases Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Although there is not a significant difference between 79% and 76%, the fact that AstraZeneca had to revise its data meant that AZD1222 fueled doubt among the public. This was made worse by the reports of people developing unusual blood clots, which affected 37 out of roughly 17 million people.

“Despite this rare development, the safety data for AstraZeneca’s vaccine were reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Although the majority of the 20 countries that suspended use of the vaccine resumed use after the EMA concluded that the vaccine was safe, some countries such as Norway extended their suspensions.

“AstraZeneca must regain public trust if it is to be a greater contender in the COVID-19 vaccine space. An EUA authorization win might just be the ticket and boost usage globally. The US will utilize some of its doses, but also has plans to send four million doses to Canada and Mexico on loan deals between the two countries. Canada will receive 1.5 million doses and Mexico will receive 2.5 million doses.”

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