Science

WHO panel recommends wide use of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 11, 2021

Protection provided outweighs risks associated with shots

A panel of the World Health Organization has recommended the wide use of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine jabs, as per media reports.

The multilateral organisation stated on Wednesday that the vaccine shots are highly effective in protecting individuals from mild to moderate Covid-19 infection.

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According to the panel, the protection provided by AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweighs any risk associated with the vaccine shots, including in elderly people.

South Africa’s reservations

The statement came at a time when South Africa has relinquished AstraZeneca’s vaccine, as per previous reports. The country has decided to sell all the acquired doses of the vaccine after a study claimed that it provided “minimal protection” against the Covid-19 variant currently in circulation in the country.

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WHO maintained that those preliminary findings “highlight the urgent need for a coordinated approach for surveillance and evaluation of variants” and their effect on vaccine efficacy, India Today reported.

WHO’s immunisation expert Kate O’Brien said the agency was in talks with health experts and ministry officials in South Africa to advise them regarding the vaccine.

Commenting on South Africa’s decision, SAGE’s chairperson, Alejandro Cravioto, told a briefing: “There is no reason not to recommend its (AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine) use.”

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Published on February 11, 2021
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