UK greenlights AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, raises a few eyebrows



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UK greenlights AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, raises a few eyebrows

On Wednesday, health regulators in Britain had approved AstraZeneca’s pandemic vaccine candidate for mass usage which it had developed in collaboration with the Oxford University, raising a few eyebrows over a cascade of blazing issues including a late-stage human clinical trial report that claimed a half-dose following a standard dose would offer more protection against the global-scale public health concern, amid spread of a highly contagious UK-variant of the pandemic pathogen.

Nonetheless, officials from AstraZeneca assuaged repeatedly over the recent days that its pandemic candidate should be able to provide immunity against the UK alongside an African pandemic-pathogen strain which a BBC report said earlier this week could make people more susceptible to pneumonia following an infection.

On top of that, recent move from British health regulators to approve AstraZeneca’s pandemic vaccine candidate based on unpublished clinical trial data, raised further questions on efficacy of the vaccine which had been subject to multiple claims in other countries including two deaths in Brazil during a trial back in November, nonetheless, a cheaper and easier cold chain of AstraZeneca vaccine that would not require an eye-propping hike in expense in logistics, would likely to be the last hope for a raft of third-world countries, which had failed to secure pandemic vaccine candidates of Moderna and Pfizer Inc.

Besides, a majority of G20 economies resumed a mass-scale vaccination campaign with Pfizer Inc.’s pandemic vaccine candidate earlier this month, marking up another debarkation of a ballooning discrimination between developed and emerging market economies.

AstraZeneca pandemic vaccine candidate receives UK nod, but uncertainties loom large

Aside from that, despite being an easier and cheaper alternative to a number of pandemic vaccine candidates, AstraZeneca-Oxford pandemic vaccines had been snowed under growing uncertainties about its most effective dose, while latest data revealed that a half-dose following a full-shot had a 90 per cent success rate, while two full-dose shots had a success rate of 62 per cent, substantially lower than Moderna and Pfizer Inc., both of which pandemic vaccine candidates had revealed a success rate of over 95 per cent.

Besides, while being asked to detail about the efficacy of the vaccine, an AstraZeneca spokesman said, “It is for the regulators to authorise how the vaccine should be used. Factors they will have taken into account include the comparable immunogenic response after two doses with either regimen, as is the protection against severe disease (100%)”.