The Moscow office of the vaccine manufacturer confirmed to Sputnik the authenticity of the document.
"AstraZeneca confirms that it authored the document. This information was not intended for public release," the company's spokesperson said.
The 12-page report, titled "Restoring Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines and Improved Co-operation Between Regulatory, Healthcare Agencies and Pharmaceutical Companies — A Call for Action," provides statistical data that shows that the total number of fatal cases per million administered doses of the vaccine in France, Germany, the UK, Norway, Austria and Italy, is almost three times higher for Pfizer than AstraZeneca.
According to the statistics submitted by the governments and related medical agencies, France registered 45.3 fatal cases per million doses for Pfizer versus 17.9 for AstraZeneca. For Germany, the numbers are 29.9 versus 6.5, respectively, for the UK — 20.7 and 24.2, Norway — 164.3 and 44.6, Austria — 47.5 and 7.5, and Italy — 10.9 and 7.3.
At the same time, the UK prioritizes the use of AstraZeneca for its mass vaccination campaign, and the drug is the main one for several categories of people. As of May 26, 72.9% of the adult population in the country were vaccinated with one dose of the vaccine, 44.8% with both.
Contrary to the statements made by European countries about the risks of AstraZeneca vaccine and refusal to use the drug, the company's statistics indicate that the risk for those vaccinated with Pfizer is higher.
The company stressed that it is not the only one suffering from bad publicity. Accusations against its vaccine impact the credibility of vaccines from other manufacturers and, consequently, dampen people's willingness to get vaccinated.
"A decision made against one vaccine can potentially further erode public confidence against all vaccines, from a global public health perspective. Lack of widespread vaccination will unnecessarily prolong the pandemic," the report said.
AstraZeneca noted that the UK drug regulator and scientists have repeatedly stated that the risk of contracting coronavirus greatly outweighs the risk of serious side effects from vaccinations. The company further reaffirmed its readiness to cooperate with any scientific bodies in order to ensure vaccination safety based on the principles of full transparency.
"AstraZeneca is committed to partnering with NITAGs [national immunization technical advisory group] and regulatory bodies to restore confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination," the company said in the report, stating it is necessary to join efforts to collect and evaluate relevant data so that "clear and consistent guidelines on use can be provided by health agencies."
"Vaccination is essential for reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and has already demonstrated large significant reductions in ICU admission, hospitalisation and death in countries with widespread vaccination programmes," AstraZeneca concluded.