WHO Cautions South Africa against Stopping AstraZeneca Vaccine

 WHO Cautions South Africa against Stopping  AstraZeneca Vaccine

 The  Director General of  the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, insisted  that the AstraZeneca vaccine was still a vital tool in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, after South Africa delayed the start of its inoculation program over concerns about the drug's efficacy against a virus variant.

He made this remark during a press briefing  on Monday, September 08, 2021

South Africa earlier announced it was putting a temporary hold on the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after a study showed it was minimally effective at preventing mild to moderate disease caused by a variant first identified in the Country.

This was after a South African study suggesting that the AstraZeneca vaccine was less effective against a local variant of the virus.

However, Dr Ghebreyesus specified that, “Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is one of several that has been shown to be effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.”

The Head of WHO, said data used in the study was from a “limité sample size” and the participants were “younger and healthier”.

However, experts are hopeful that the vaccine will still be effective at preventing severe cases. “t is important to determine whether or not the vaccine remains effective in preventing more severe illness,” he said in a statement.

It is worth noting that, research carried out that the Oxford vaccine offers good protection against the Kent variant of coronavirus circulating more widely in the United Kingdom, UK.

UK scientists found out that a single dose of the vaccine offered 76% effective protection against coronavirus for three months. The vaccine is given as two doses to provide the best protection.

Besides, they are working on new versions of the vaccine, to keep up with a virus that will inevitably keep mutating.

By Fabiola Kemegni

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