South Africa conducted a clinical trial that showed that vaccines by Serum Institute offer minimal protection against Coronavirus strain active in the country, after which South Africa stopped its COVID-19 vaccination program. Owing to this finding, South Africa has now decided to return approximately 1 million vaccine doses back to Serum Institute. These doses were supplied to South Africa in early February.
South Africa had stopped the AstraZeneca Oxford COVID-19 vaccine program after disappointing results from trial data showed it gave minimal protection against mild to moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant coronavirus variant.
Serum Institute of India had recently supplied 1 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa and was about to send another 5 Lakh doses in coming weeks.
As per South Africa’s health minister the AstraZeneca vaccine offered minimal protection against the 501Y.V2 coronavirus variant which is dominant in South Africa.
This was concluded by the data obtained from the study conducted by South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University.
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South Africa’s health minister further said that they may sell the doses of vaccines.
Anban Pillay, the deputy director-general at the Department of Health, told Reuters:
“The doses are going to be shared with countries on the continent… via the AU (African Union),” Pillay said, adding that the country is looking to recover the money spent on the vaccines but hadn’t worked out how that would happen in practice.
Swissmedic, Switzerland’s authority for medicines and medical devices, said, “The data currently available do not point to a positive decision regarding benefits and risks.”
Many European countries have decided not to use AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people over 65. This decision as well was made due to the lack of data available about its effectiveness in elderly people.
According to a report by Germany’s Standing Vaccination Commission, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is only effective 8% in people over 65.
According to a new survey more than half of Americans do not want COVID-19 vaccine. The study has also looked into the concerns among people reluctant to receive the jabs, with 68 per cent of people saying they are worried about the long term effects of the vaccines.
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