AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Controversy Unveiled

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Controversy
Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

AstraZeneca announced earlier that its vaccine is up to 70% efficient but there is a possibility of a major dosing-related mistake during its clinical trials. Some of the participants of this vaccine trial were given half dose instead of the full experimental dose, suggesting that the results are not true. But people who received this ‘half-dose’ showed better results than full dose participants, inviting a huge controversy over AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Ever since this pandemic started, many researchers are trying to understand coronavirus, hoping to find a counter-strategy for it. AstraZeneca is one of many candidates working on developing the COVID-19 vaccine to get over this pandemic for once and all.

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But this AstraZeneca vaccine candidate is different from all other vaccines as it requires two shots, with a gap of one month, and doesn’t require to be refrigerated at a minus temperature.  Both its doses are relatively much cheaper as compared to other vaccine candidates and its easy storage properties make it an ideal choice for sending to far away areas, without getting disintegrated on the way.

According to the results of clinical trials, AstraZeneca estimates its vaccine is nearly 70% effective to lower the risk of COVID-19. But many health experts are saying that these results are flawed bringing up a whole new controversy with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

BBC News confirmed that there was some mismanagement during the trials when some of the participants were injected a half dose of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine while others were injected with the full dose. It happened during the first shot of the clinical testing. But the trial was still proceeded, including those half-dosed participants who were given a full shot a second time.

Despite this neglect, people who received half-dose showed better results than others which is surprising. There were around about 3000 participants who were injected with a half dose. Yet, they were permitted to be a part of the trial as regulators say that it is just a dosing error and it would not cause side effects.

But this AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine controversy has taken an interesting turn after these participants reported better results (90%) than full-dose participants (62%).  Maybe it’s just a coincidence but this low dose seems better working to boost immunity as compared to the originally designed dose. But it has not been confirmed so nothing is conclusive at this moment.

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While AstraZeneca has already announced that its vaccine provides up to 70% efficacy against COVID-19, the research team has continued working on how a weaker dose led to a better immune response.

Some experts are calling it a blunder and others believe that it is an honest but uncommon mistake. The bigger question that arises here is that the company has not decided whether it will go with the 62% effective results from full-dose or the 90% effective results obtained from half-dose.

AstraZeneca has not published the results yet but it is planning to do it. the regulators are responsible for the compilation of data and if there is significant evidence of half-dose working better, they might add it to the final results. The safety levels of this vaccine by AstraZeneca are still questionable.



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