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Tuesday Update for 2021-03-16: Kids — 2 Comments

  1. I’m going to double-down on my speculation that the FDA might throw AstraZeneca under the bus in order to make a show of, “We promised we wouldn’t authorize just anything that comes our way.” It’s been suggested that that’s the sentiment behind the AstraZeneca freezes in Europe… it increases confidence in the overall vaccine process at the expense of confidence in the AZ vaccine.

    The US has now contracted for way more Covid-19 vaccine doses than it needs — three times as much as needed, according to some reports. (Contracted, but not yet received.) We could probably do just fine without AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

    The Novavax protein-subunit vaccine trial in the US probably won’t report out until May, what with the falling number of people catching the virus, but the numbers reported in overseas trials are closer to the Pfizer/Moderna numbers, with significant (but somewhat reduced) effectiveness against the variants now being seen. As noted in the article above, AstraZeneca’s effectiveness against variants isn’t looking good at all, especially against the “South African” variant.

  2. You might well be right. It could present the FDA with a dilemma if the US data turns out to be both favorable and clean — I do imagine that AZ will be on their best behavior in conducting the trial. If the FDA was intent on making a statement like you suggest, an impeccably run trial would make it harder to do.

    And if they did it would be an unfortunate result for the world outside the West. Much of Africa, South America, etc. are counting on AZ for a cheap, easily distributed vaccine. The US refusing it could push those regions into the arms of Russia and China (which is happening to an extent anyway).

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