Matthew Yglesias — "Approve the AstraZeneca vaccine! Yes, their trial was messed up. But it clearly works."

 We will need to more about this.

Meanwhile, there is a plant up and running in Baltimore manufacturing a vaccine that was developed by an Oxford University research team in partnership with AstraZeneca. It’s cheaper and easier to manufacture than the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. The World Health Organization’s expert panel says the vaccine should be used in adults of all ages. Given that the United States has access to a considerable supply of more effective mRNA vaccines, I would be more cautious than them and continue vaccinating seniors with the Pfizer/Moderna products but start letting non-seniors who are impatient for vaccination get AstraZeneca’s shot.


I do all that throat-clearing because spending last week arguing on the internet made it clear to me that a lot of the people pushing back against fast approval of the AZ vaccine are fundamentally process-trusters who are out here to defend the FDA qua FDA, which I think is leading them to miss the forest for the trees.

For example, nobody on epidemiology Twitter seems to believe that the United Kingdom or European Union regulators are making a huge mistake by authorizing the vaccine. And that’s not because epidemiology Twitter is blind to events occurring outside the United States. People who were very critical of Sweden’s “herd immunity” approach to Covid, or the UK’s absurd initiative to pay people to go eat in restaurants have not been criticizing governments on the other side of the pond for using (Read more...)