African countries keen on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine: WHO

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No countries in Africa have refused the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to any remaining health concerns, a senior official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.

Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for drug access, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, told a news conference: “It has all returned to normal, we don’t have any countries refusing the AstraZeneca (vaccine) on the African continent.”

WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward said: “There’s a lot of confidence” in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier today, AstraZeneca announced that the vaccine was found to have been 79% effective at preventing symptomatic illness in a large United States trial and is 100% effective against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation.

The news came as many countries resumed using the vaccine after its benefits were found to outweigh the risks following investigations into reports of blood clots.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe, says European Medicines Agency:

South Africa on the other hand suspended its rollout of the vaccine in February after a small study showed that the vaccine has limited efficacy against the dominant variant discovered in the country.

The country’s Health Ministry has sold the one million doses to 14 African countries.

AU says AstraZeneca vaccine benefits outweigh risks: