How AstraZeneca and Oxford blew their vaccine moment


Hope you all had restful — if not abnormal — holidays. I spent this weekend getting some fresh air out here in Denver. Have any winter-time hikes I should add to my list? Let me know — I'm at [email protected]

New first thing this morning: Moderna is planning to file for its emergency use authorization today, a key step in getting the vaccine into the arms of more people. In an update to its late-stage trial, Moderna found that its shot was 94.1% effective against COVID-19. 

Today in healthcare news: The messy week that overshadowed AstraZeneca and Oxford's big news, the pitch deck Buoy Health used to convince three rival health plans to invest, and scientists want to test if the vaccine can prevent transmission.

Lisa Taylor receives a COVID-19 vaccination from RN Jose Muniz with the help of Karenda Palmer, a staff member, as she takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesHow AstraZeneca and Oxford blew their big vaccine moment: A messy week that overshadowed what should have been a scientific victory 

  • AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said that their coronavirus vaccine succeeded in a trial.
  • But some of the information they disclosed in press releases raised questions.
  • The scrutiny centered on a lack of information in two areas: how well did the vaccine work? And how safe was it?
  • AstraZeneca is planning to further investigate the alternative half-dose-full-dose dosing regimen, as it asks some regulators to sign off on it.

Read the full story from Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce here>>

See the presentation that convinced 3 competing health plans to invest in Buoy Health's tool for ending Dr. Google and unnecessary emergency room visits

  • Buoy Health in November raised $37.5 million from the likes of Cigna Ventures, Optum Ventures, and Humana.
  • Buoy has an app that matches patients to the right kind of care based on their symptoms.
  • It's tackling an age-hold problem in healthcare: How to get patients accurate information on their benefits at the same time they're sick and looking for help.

Read the full presentation here>>

A 16-year-old participates in Pfizer's clinical trial to test its coronavirus vaccine candidate. She was the first adolescent patient at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to enroll in the study.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Scientists are aiming to launch a nationwide trial as soon as possible to find out if the top coronavirus vaccines can stop the virus from spreading

  • Massive studies have found that two leading coronavirus vaccines are highly effective at preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
  • Top researchers are already pitching plans for additional studies, Business Insider has learned.
  • This research aims to answer a critical question: Can these experimental shots also prevent transmission of the virus, particularly asymptomatic infections?

Read the full story from Andrew Dunn here>>

More stories we're reading:

  • Vaccine trials didn't monitor one variable: volunteers' behavior. 'Masks and social distancing were left up to us,' a participant said. (Business Insider)
  • Hospitals are canceling elective procedures again amid the latest surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations (Bloomberg) 
  • We now have the best evidence yet that coronavirus immunity lasts 6 to 8 months after infection, and perhaps even years (Business Insider)
  • COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities top 100,000, representing nearly 40% of all deaths from the disease (The Wall Street Journal)

December is shaping up to be another critical month in the vaccine race. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for your daily debriefs on what's unfolding — and tell your friends!

– Lydia

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