Here’s Marty Makary, M.D., a professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine:
Finally, the FDA needs to stop playing games and authorize the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It’s safe, cheap ($2-$3 a dose), and is the easiest vaccine to distribute. It does not require freezing and is already approved and being administered in the United Kingdom.
Sadly, the FDA is months away from authorizing this vaccine because FDA career staff members insisted on another clinical trial to be completed and are punishing the company for inadvertently giving a half-dose of the vaccine to some people in the trial.
It’s like the FDA is holding out, pontificating existing excellent data and being vindictive against a company for making a mistake while thousands of Americans die each day.
Ironically, those in the Oxford-AstraZeneca trial who inadvertently received half the initial vaccine dose had lower infection rates. And this week Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, acknowledged that using half a dose might be a good broader strategy for the U.S. to double our supply as long our supply is severely constrained. That’s a good strategy that makes sense.
See also my post The AstraZeneca Factory in Baltimore. Thousands of people are dying every day. We have a vaccine factory ready to go. The FDA should lifts its ban on the AstraZeneca vaccine.