Oxford Pauses Dosing in Trial of AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine in Children, Teenagers

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/oxford-pauses-dosing-in-trial-of-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-in-children-teenagers-11617729303


The University of Oxford said it has paused administering doses of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca PLC in a small U.K. study to test the shot in children and teenagers, pending further information about rare blood-clotting issues in adults who have received it.

The Oxford-led pediatric trial started in mid-February and is aimed at testing the vaccine in more than 200 young people aged 6 to 17 years. An Oxford spokesman said Tuesday that no safety issues have arisen in the trial itself, but broader concerns about rare clotting problems in adults have triggered further regulatory reviews in the U.K. and Europe to investigate any potential link with the vaccine.

Oxford is waiting for more information from the U.K.’s drugs watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, before giving any further vaccinations to children or teenagers in the pediatric trial, the spokesman said.

The pause is the latest setback for the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, which has faced questions about its efficacy and potential side effects even as tens of millions of doses have been administered following safety signoffs in more than 70 countries.

Author(s): Jenny Strasburg, Eric Sylvers

Publication Date: 6 April 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

AstraZeneca Releases Updated Covid-19 Vaccine Data Showing 76% Efficacy

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/astrazeneca-releases-more-data-on-its-covid-19-vaccine-11616637984


Aside from finding the vaccine 79% effective, the preliminary results indicated the vaccine was even more effective in study subjects ages 65 years and older, and the shot was safe.

The late-stage, or Phase 3, trial had 32,449 subjects in the U.S., Peru and Chile. About 20% of them were 65 years or older.

The fuller data showed the vaccine to be 85% effective in the older age group. Older adults are considered more vulnerable to serious Covid-19, making them a high-priority group in vaccinations globally.

Though AstraZeneca’s latest release involved more cases, the company’s analysis might still be incomplete. AstraZeneca said it was reviewing an additional 14 cases to see if they should be added to the final tally.

Author(s): Jenny Strasburg, Joseph Walker

Publication Date: 24 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

EU and Italy Block Export of AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine to Australia

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-and-italy-block-export-of-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-to-australia-11614875649?mod=djemwhatsnews


Italy blocked the export of AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine to Australia, in a move coordinated with European Union authorities, reflecting mounting frustration in Europe with slow deliveries of vaccines.

The move was prompted by the persisting shortage of vaccines in Italy and the EU, delays in the supply of vaccines by AstraZeneca and the fact that Australia is considered a “nonvulnerable country” to Covid-19 under EU regulations, Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The decision affects 250,700 doses, a number the ministry said was high compared with what has been delivered so far by AstraZeneca. The doses were bottled at a factory near Rome that is part of the company’s supply chain. AstraZeneca has delivered around 1.5 million doses to Italy, according to the government.

Author(s): Giovanni Legorano,  Jenny Strasburg

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal