The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is facing yet another setback.
On Tuesday, an independent review board of experts appointed by the National Institutes of Health said the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company may have only used partial data when it announced the results from its vaccine trial, an unusual rebuke from health officials that follows missteps and false starts in AstraZeneca’s rollout.
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the concerns raised by the board an “unforced error” on AstraZeneca’s part, saying the shot “is very likely a good vaccine.” The company said it would “immediately engage” with health officials to discuss the most up-to-date efficacy data and promised a more detailed analysis within 48 hours of the vaccine it developed with Oxford University.
Here are some significant developments:
More states are opening vaccine access those over the age of 16, as the race continues between vaccinations and contagious new variants. West Virginia, Tennessee and Arizona announced plans Monday to make the shots more widely available within the next two weeks.
Amid vaccine skepticism, especially among male Republicans, the nation’s sports leagues unveiled a new pro-vaccine public service announcement.
German leader Angela Merkel is extending the country’s lockdown to April 18 and urging people to stay at home over Easter as a devastating third virus wave builds in the country.
Beijing is sending its vaccines all over the world but the lack of transparency over its data has damaged public confidence in this vaccine diplomacy.
At least 82.8 million people have received one or both doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States. More than 543,000 people have died of coronavirus in the country, out of roughly 29.8 million confirmed cases.
When D.C. residents awaiting coronavirus vaccinations turn to trackers that show the state-by-state progress of inoculations, they see alarming numbers.
As of Monday, Bloomberg’s tracker reported that the District has administered just 68 percent of the shots in its arsenal, based on data posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources, lower than any state but Alabama. D.C. has fully vaccinated just 10 percent of its population, the tracker says, a lower percentage than any state but Utah.
Other trackers, including The Washington Post’s, show similarly disappointing results.
But D.C. officials say the trackers unfairly portray the city’s vaccination campaign in a skewed light, because they don’t account for reporting delays by federal agencies or give the city credit for the unusual number of nonresidents it has to vaccinate.
City leaders last week asked White House officials for changes to make D.C. look better.
An elderly musician in Lebanon who sued the government for his right to be vaccinated received his first Pfizer-BioNTech shot against the coronavirus Tuesday.
Joseph al-Hajj, 80, plays the clarinet and other brass and wind instruments, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which interviewed him earlier this month.
He was partially vaccinated Tuesday at a hospital in Beirut, where a video posted on social media showed him laughing as he received the first jab in his arm.
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