Switzerland declined to authorize the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, saying data submitted by AstraZeneca was "not yet sufficient to permit authorisation" of the vaccine.
"To obtain more information about safety, efficacy and quality, additional data from new studies are needed," Swissmedic said in a statement Wednesday.
"The data currently available do not point to a positive decision regarding benefits and risks. To obtain a conclusive assessment, the applicant will among other things have to submit additional efficacy data from a Phase III trial under way in North and South America, and these will have to be analysed. As soon as the results have been received, a temporary authorisation according to the rolling procedure could be issued at very short notice," the statement added.
In a preprint posted Tuesday by researchers at the University of Oxford, the Covid-19 vaccine showed 66.7% efficacy against symptomatic disease starting two weeks after the second shot. Oxford researchers also suggested the vaccine may reduce transmission of the virus, rather than simply reducing the severity of disease.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie earlier today that he hadn't seen the data himself. However he added that if the data from the vaccine preprint bears out, it’s good news because it adds another vaccine against Covid-19 into the mix.