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For Whose Benefit? Transparency in the development and procurement of COVID-19 vaccines

Transparency International Global Health – “A lack of transparency in COVID-19 vaccine trials and secrecy over deals between governments and drug companies risks the success of the global pandemic response, new research from Transparency International Global Health and the University of Toronto warns. For Whose Benefit? is an in-depth study of the development and sale of the world’s top 20 COVID-19 vaccines, including those developed by AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. Through detailed analysis of clinical trial data and nearly 200 contracts for vaccine sales up to March 2021, the report reveals a pattern of poor transparency and a disturbing trend of governments censoring key details of their orders from drug companies. Clinical trial transparency is the only way to monitor the safety and efficacy of vaccines and is a key safeguard against selective reporting of results or manipulation of data. Despite this, analysis of the registered clinical trials for the top vaccines reveals that results from just 45 per cent of these trials had been announced. Of this figure, 41 per cent had provided only top-level results via a press release or press conference, with the full data not made available for media scrutiny or academic review. Clinical trial protocols had been published for just 12 per cent of trials. There were no publicly accessible protocols for 88 per cent of the registered trials in our analysis and, therefore, no way of knowing the conditions under which they were carried out…”

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