What happened to the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine?

What happened to the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine?

It could take at least another 30 days for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to comment on the Oxford-Astrazeneca Covid vaccine: some critical data needs to be resolved

(image: Getty Images) confusion about the results of the trial is affecting the approval process of the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by the University of Oxford and by AstraZeneca in Europe: the experts of the European Medicines Agency (Ema) are looking at the new dossier to understand if the criticalities on the efficacy data have been resolved. For now, only the United Kingdom has approved the product for emergency use and has begun its administration - an acceleration that some believe is dictated by the massive increase in infections attributed to the new British variant of Sars-Cov-2.

What consequences could this delay have for member states and for Italy in particular?

Doubts about the Oxford vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (Ema) has received the new documentation relating to the trial of the vaccine against Covid-19 by Oxford-AstraZeneca last December 30th and it will take at least 30 working days to analyze the dossier and evaluate if the critical issues highlighted in the past months have been resolved.

To refresh the memory, the long-awaited European vaccine caused much discussion when the data relating to its trial was published: if there were no doubts about safety, the efficacy was instead different in branches of the study. he had used different dosages (half dose + full dose or two full doses) and which were not comparable in age of the population sample. Added to this are other concerns relating to the time interval between the first and second dose (4 weeks or more?).

These are the main reasons that force the EMA to delay a possible approval of the vaccine for all member states.

Meanwhile in the United States

Overseas things to the AstraZeneca vaccine will not get better. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Food and Drug Administration (Fda) should receive the documentation by next March and that therefore the vaccine device is not expected to be approved before April.

The United Kingdom accelerates

Only the UK has so far approved the Oxford vaccine for emergency use and has already begun distribution. According to some experts, the decision was also made on the basis of the emergency in which the country is located: with more than 50 thousand new diagnoses of Covid-19 a day, it is considered necessary to use every available tool to immunize the greatest number of people in the shortest time possible.


Compared to expectations, therefore, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive late, which, however justified, could create difficulties in Europe, in some countries more than in others in based on purchase orders.

Italy in particular had bet a lot on this vaccine: 16.1 million doses were expected by March, which would add up to 8.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine -BioNTech, 1.3 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 2 million doses of the Curevac vaccine. Another 24.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were expected between April and June. "According to data released by the Ministry of Health, the Italian government had therefore expected to receive and administer 40.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by June, ie just under half of the 85.5 million total doses of the six vaccines booked" , report to Ansa Carlo Centemeri, of the Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation Mi-Ny, and the virologist Francesco Broccolo, of the University of Milan Bicocca. The absence of the AstraZeneca vaccine "would thus lead to a redistribution of Pfizer, Modena and possibly Curevac vaccines at a European level and, although other doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been ordered, it will be difficult to meet the times".

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