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Africa defends AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

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The African Union’s disease control agency confirmed that it was not giving up the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine, although the effectiveness was significantly reduced with the South African nCoV strain.

African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director John Nkengasong said today that more action is needed to learn how the vaccine against the super-infectious nCoV variant was discovered at Nam Phi by the end of 2020.

South Africa stopped injecting AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to health workers on Feb. 10 due to ineffective use of a strain called 501Y.V2, which said it could find a way to sell or exchange one vaccine for another.

African countries will receive 100 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine this year under the African Union plan.

Vaccine vial of AstraZeneca at an vaccination site in Maidstone, UK, February 10. Image: Reuters.

Outside of South Africa, six other African countries, Botswana, Comoros, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia, reported a 501Y.V2 infection, Nkengasong said. Health experts warn the possibility of the new virus “evading” the immune response, which is caused by a vaccine or from a previous infection with nCoV.

“For countries that have not yet detected the 501Y.V2 strain, we recommend that they deploy the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Nkengasong. “For countries where the 501Y.V2 strain has been registered, we recommend accelerating preparation for the introduction of all Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved for emergency use or approved by the regulator. Review of the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccine against strain variant 501Y.V2 “.

Nkengasong said CDC Africa will self-assess the AstraZeneca vaccine in many countries, and said that no country has announced the refusal to use the product. Nkengasong said the African Union is in talks with pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson to supply additional Covid-19 vaccine, in addition to the 120 million doses in the previous plan.

Covid-19 broke out in December 2019, appeared in 219 countries and territories with nearly 108 million cases, more than 2.3 million deaths and nearly 80 million people recovered.

Nguyen Tien (According to the Reuters)

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