German Health Ministry Denies AstraZeneca Lower Efficacy Report

Speaking to media this morning, the German Health Ministry has shot down last night’s surprising Handelsblatt story – now effusively saying they cannot confirm the eyebrow raising report that the Oxford vaccine only has 8% efficacy for over 65s. A now on-the-record denial says there was likely some confusion in the reports, and 8% actually refers to the number of 56 to 69 year olds in the study…

“At first glance it seems that the newspaper reports have mixed up two things: about 8% of those tested in the AstraZeneca efficacy study were between 56 and 69, only 3-4 per cent over 70.”

Handelsblatt Political correspondent Gregor Waschinski has not tweeted since late last night, his final sign off on the dodgy story being:

“I understand that some would like to see the story substantiated with actual data. However, this is not an academic preprint but a sourced piece of (political) reporting that tries to shed light on the decision making processes and the obstacles in the race for a Covid vaccine.”

Oops.

If the Germans had been a bit more efficient they could have set things straight last night. Now there will no doubt be diplomatic repair work to be done. And possibly an AstraZeneca defamation lawsuit against Handelsblatt…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Gregor Waschinski
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