The COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc is likely to be very good, but an independent review board was concerned about how the drugmaker presented data in a press release this week, according to top US health official Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“This is likely a very good vaccine,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, COVID-19 medical adviser to US President Joe Biden and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” program. “When you look at it, the data is quite good, but it wasn’t completely accurate when it was put into the press release.”
A data and safety monitoring board “got concerned” that the data in AstraZeneca’s public statement “were somewhat outdated and might in fact be misleading a bit,” he added.
The board, a group of independent medical experts at the National Institutes of Health, which includes NIAID, contacted the company with their concerns about how the company laid out its data in its press release issued on Monday, Fauci said.
He added that the back and forth was “unfortunate,” calling it “an unforced error” that only adds to public doubts about vaccines and could possibly lead to more hesitancy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will review the company’s data when it seeks approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, “will independently go over every bit of data themselves” and not rely on any one interpretation, including the company’s, he added.