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COVID-19 Vaccines face more concerns from public


A Michigan expert says there are concerns about a vaccine once touted as the gold standard in the fight against COVID-19. 

There are also concerns about how a company formerly based in Michigan is producing COVID vaccines. 

More than 70 countries have already approved the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine and the US has secured 300 million doses of it from the company. 

But in recent days more than a dozen nations, including Germany and Canada have suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations over concerns ranging from it causing blood clots in some patients to questions over the company’s testing data. 

University of Michigan epidemiologist Arnold Monto chairs the panel that advised the FDA to approve the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson – or J and J – COVID vaccines. 

Monto says AstraZeneca does not seem to work as well as other vaccines against variants of COVID-19.    

“It seems to have very low efficacy," said Monto. "Whereas the J and J vaccine…which is a related vaccine in terms of the platform in which it’s produced…seem to work well.” 

The US government is moving AstraZeneca production out of a facility in Baltimore where the company Emergent BioSolutions helps manufacture Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

Emergent recently spoiled tens of millions of doses of COVID vaccine. 

Emergent began as a Lansing-based company called BioPort which at one time was the only company licensed to provide anthrax vaccine to the US military.

Questions about how sterile its process was led to a congressional inquiry. 

The company later changed its name.