South Africa has 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.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday the government would await advice from scientists on how best to proceed, after disappointing results in a trial conducted by the University ofthe Witwatersrand.
The government had intended to roll the AstraZeneca shot out to healthcare workers soon, after receiving 1 million doses produced by the Serum Institute of India on Monday.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine will remain with us … up until the scientists give us clear indications as to what we need to do,” he added.
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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