AstraZeneca’s Trial Disaster As Media Attacks “very shaky science”

Updated

Wired.com has switched its reporting narrative from targeting those who question vaccine science to now questioning the data themselves from AstraZeneca’s forthcoming Covid vaccine.

THE MAKERS OF a third coronavirus vaccine announced positive results in clinical trials on Monday, setting off yet another round of excited news reports. This one, produced by a partnership between a University of Oxford research institute, its spinout company Vaccitech, and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, does not need to be stored at freezing temperatures and would be cheaper and easier to produce than the high-efficacy vaccines produced by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna. Indeed, according to an initial write-up in The New York Times, Oxford-AstraZeneca’s is “expected to be relied upon heavily across the globe, to help curb a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people.”

Sounds like great news, right? Monday’s press release from AstraZeneca presents “convincing evidence that [the vaccine] works,” said Science. But not everyone has been convinced. The price of AstraZeneca’s shares actually dropped on the news, and an analysis from an investment bank concluded, “We believe that this product will never be licensed in the US.” Over at STAT News, Anthony Fauci cautioned that we’ll need to see more data before coming to a conclusion. The skeptics have strong reasons to be concerned: This week’s “promising” results are nothing like the others that we’ve been hearing about in November—and the claims that have been drawn from them are based on very shaky science.….

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Derek Kramer

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