Why the credibility of AstraZeneca's vaccine data matters

What they’re saying: “I think everybody is sort of stunned,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins. “There are billions of eyeballs on these data.”

The public rift between a drug company and independent reviewers is highly unusual. And it’s all the more frustrating, experts noted, because this particular trial was designed in part to help quell some of the uncertainty AstraZeneca caused with its other studies.

“It’s one thing for a drug company or sponsor to bungle this on the first go but this is the second time this company has released information that was inaccurate and confusing, and it’s incredibly frustrating,” said Jonathan Kimmelman, a bioethicist at McGill University.

Experts questioned the overall efficacy rate that AstraZeneca had claimed from previous trials, due to the unusual way the company pooled data from multiple research arms.