The CEO of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, Seth Berkely, says coronavirus clinical trials need to be ongoing to allow for vaccine efficacy to be assessed over a prolonged period.
The research should also be of a scale and diversity to enable clear interpretations of the results.
This comes as the AstraZeneca vaccine was found to be drastically less efficient in protecting against mild to moderate COVID-19 cases of the 501y.v2 variant that was discovered in South Africa.
However, there is some concern that the study’s sample group was not large enough.
Berkely says this will also help in the coordination of the COVAX vaccine rollouts.
He says, “We know that we need better global genomic surveillance and that has to be backed by rapid sharing of data to allow for the global coordination of response. Priority needs to be given to vaccinating high-risk groups everywhere to ensure maximum global protection against old and new strains and to minimise the risk of transmission.”
Political parties have expressed disappointment at the halting of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The African Transformation Movement has called for the head of President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, whilst other political parties have expressed disappointment and deep concern after government announced that it would hold back on the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Below are the parties’ views:
The Head of Department of Infectious Diseases at Helen Joseph Hospital, Dr Jeremy Nel, says SA’s decision to halt the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout was the right one.
Nel explains what vaccine efficacy is: