Wed. Jan 20th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.unicef.org)

AstraZeneca  and Oxford University on Wednesday acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

A statement describing the error came days after the company and the university described the shots as “highly effective” and made no mention of why some study participants didn’t receive as much vaccine in the first of two shots as expected.

Oxford University said some of the vials used in the trial didn’t have the right concentration of vaccine so some volunteers got a half dose. The university said that it discussed the problem with regulators, and agreed to complete the late stage trial with two groups. The manufacturing problem has been corrected, according to the statement.

It said the group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses. In the low-dose group, AstraZeneca said the vaccine appeared to be 90-percent effective. In the group that got two full doses, the vaccine appeared to be 62-percent effective. Combined, the drugmakers said the vaccine appeared to be 70-percent effective. But the way in which the results were arrived at and reported by the companies has led to pointed questions from experts.

AstraZeneca said earlier it is ready to price its Covid-19 vaccine at $2.50 per dose, the lowest so far among drug companies testing their own vaccines. The Philippine government is considering AstraZeneca to supply Covid-19 vaccines. SOVEREIGNPH

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