Global markets fall…Questions about AstraZeneca trials
Global stock markets are down today. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.5% while Frankfurt’s DAX shed 0.7%. The CAC 40 in Paris retreated 0.5%. In Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo closed 0.6% lower, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.4%. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9% and the Kospi in Seoul shed 1%. Wall Street futures are down.
WASHINGTON (AP) – American federal health officials say results from a U.S. trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may have included “outdated information” and that could mean the company provided an incomplete view of efficacy data. A spokesman from the drug company says it’s “looking into it.” AstraZeneca reported Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among adults of all ages in a long-anticipated U.S. study, a finding that could help rebuild public confidence in the shot around the world and move it a step closer to clearance in the U.S.
UNDATED (AP) – A leading European Union official is lashing out at the AstraZeneca vaccine company for its massive shortfall in producing doses for the EU. The chief of the European Commission’s health division told legislators today that vaccine producers like Pfizer and Moderna have largely met their commitments. However, she said “the problem has been AstraZeneca.” The European Union has been criticized at home and abroad for its slow rollout of its vaccine drive to the citizens. The health chief says the AstraZeneca vaccine was supposed to be the workforce of the drive. It’s cheaper and easier to transport, and was to delivered in huge amounts in the first half of 2021.
UNDATED (AP) – A new report finds that Facebook has allowed groups – many tied to QAnon and militia movements – to glorify violence during the 2020 election. Avaaz, a group that says it seeks to protect democracies from misinformation, identified 267 pages and groups that spread violence-glorifying material to a combined following of 32 million users. Despite what the group called “clear violations” of Facebook’s policies, 119 of the pages and groups are still active. On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai are slated to testify before Congress about extremism and misinformation on their platforms.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s top telecommunications company is getting 7.3 billion yen ($67 million) in taxpayer money to design mobile tracking software to curb the spread of coronavirus infections during the Tokyo Olympics. There’s a catch. Few people from abroad will be around to use it. Organizers and the IOC have ruled out fans from abroad attending the Olympics when they open on July 23. An Olympic domestic sponsor heads the consortium developing the app. Domestic sponsors have been critical to funding the Tokyo Olympics. They have chipped in $3.5 billion, about three times more than in any previous games.