WHO Adamant That AstraZeneca Covid19 Vaccine Remains an Important Tool

WHO Adamant That AstraZeneca Covid19 Vaccine Remains an Important Tool

- Research has shown that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is less effective when it comes to the strain discovered in South Africa

- However, the World Health Organization has warned people not to outright dismiss the vaccine

- Despite this word of caution, many nations have refused to approve the vaccine for use

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The World Health Organization has issued a warning that nations shouldn't be in a hurry to dismiss the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

This comes after research showed the vaccine is less effective against the variant discovered locally.

The organisation insisted that AstraZeneca remains a crucial, life-saving tool against the pandemic.


The WHO is standing by the vaccine that forms a major part of the COVAX programme. Image: Nayan Kar/SOPA Images/LightRocket
Source: Getty Images

Nevertheless, this hasn't stopped the repercussions of reduced faith in the medication on a global level.

Numerous European nations have opted against authorising the vaccine for use in citizens over the age of 65 years old, pointing to a lack of evidence that the medication is effective in patients in the age group.

AstraZeneca vaccine halted due to low efficacy against new strain

The vaccine remains a major part of the WHO's Covax programme, which procured vaccines in a bid to equitably distribute them around the globe.

Currently, AstraZeneca represents for the vast majority of the over 300 million doses that the programme intends to ship to over 140 different countries.

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the South African health department temporarily stopped the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The vaccine rollout was stopped after a new study showed that the vaccine is not very effective against the 501Y.V2 Covid-19 variant.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Sunday evening that a team of experts would soon give guidance on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Mkhize was part of a panel of experts that hosted a media briefing which outlined new developments in SA's vaccine rollout.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, one of South Africa’s leading Covid-19 experts, said the new research about the vaccine does not spell “doom and gloom”.

SA only set for national inoculation in mid 2022, global stats show

A report by EWN confirmed that local clinical trial data from the vaccine study for the Oxford/AstraZeneca revealed that it had a mere 22% efficacy against the 501Y.V2 Covid-19 variant dominating the country.

Dr Mkhize said that SA would move forward with the Pfizer/BioNtech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The new study was not yet peer-reviewed and involved about 2 000 people who were on average around 31 years old.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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