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An interesting discussion about the AstraZeneca – Oxford vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech were very clear with the protocol and with the reporting. I described the details of the statistical basis of the trials in The Conversation article. Moderna group even released a very detailed report on side effects.

In contrast, the Oxford trial seems to have been conducted in a less rigorous way and we are missing the data to analyse it in the same detail. The 62% to 90% efficacy switch with 1/2 dose at the first treatment will need more study; it has been reported that the “optimal” dose has only been given to 2,3oo people and there were issues with who received the “optimal dose”.

This just stresses how important it is to understand the statistical details behind the vaccine trials. None of the trials addressed long-term efficacy and safety, and the efficacy (and safety) in different age/vulnerability groups are still open.