Biden awaiting final report on AstraZeneca vaccine: we have it available, but we haven’t used it

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday night said he was awaiting the final report on the AstraZeneca vaccine after the U.S. Data and Safety Monitoring Board said it was concerned the company may have provided incomplete view of the efficacy data it released on Monday.

Asked whether Americans should feel confident in the AstraZeneca vaccine, President Biden said, “We have it available, but we haven’t used it.”

“I’ve been gone all day. I don’t know what’s happened today,” President Biden added after Marine One Arrival to the White House South Lawn. He had spent the day in Ohio.

Asked whether he had spoken with Dr. Anthony Fauci, his infectious disease expert about the AstraZeneca vaccine, Biden said, “Not as of today.  No, I haven’t.”

American federal health officials said in a statement on Tuesday that AstraZeneca may have used “outdated information” to arrive at the conclusion that its vaccine was 79 percent effective against COVID-19 in a U.S. trial that involved more than 32,000 people.

“Late Monday, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) notified NIAID, BARDA, and AstraZeneca that it was concerned by information released by AstraZeneca on initial data from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data. We urge the company to work with the DSMB to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible,” the United States National Institutes of Health said in a statement.

“Authorization and guidelines for use of the vaccine in the United States will be determined by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after thorough review of the data by independent advisory committees.”

In a statement on Monday, AstraZeneca claimed its vaccine was highly effective against the deadly virus and prevented severe disease and death.

The statement by U.S. officials on Tuesday has now cast doubt on the results.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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