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People Over 65 Can Use Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine – WHO

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COVID-19: WHO audits NAFDAC in preparation for vaccine production

Gbolabo Fagbenle

 

The World Health Organisation has approved the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on only individuals aged 65 years and above.

Following reviews of the vaccine and its effectiveness, the global health organisation stated that it could still be used in the prevention of illness and death, and it could also be used against the South African COVID-19 variant.

In many European countries including Denmark, Germany, Sweden, France, Hungary, Norway, Italy, Spain, and Poland, the vaccine has been held off from use on older individuals, as it was declared ineffective.

However, a director at WHO Alejandro Cravioto said that the vaccine could be used in countries that had the South African variant of the virus in an effort to reduce hospitalisations and fatalities.

In a report released on Wednesday, the WHO said that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had a 63 percent effectiveness rating in the prevention of COVID-219 related illnesses.

It also added that the vaccine could very well work to prevent grave illnesses, precluding death.

According to the head of the WHO’s dengue prevention program, Joachim Hombach, “Even with a hypothetical drop in efficacy, it’s still the right thing to do to vaccinate adults with a low efficacy vaccine because of the high risk of severe disease in that age group.

“Even if the efficacy was substantially lower than what was measured, it’s still the right thing to do.”

Expanding on its report, the WHO sated that “Because a relatively small number of participants aged 65 years or over were recruited into the clinical trials, there were few cases of Covid-19 in either the vaccine or the control group in this age category, and thus the confidence interval on the efficacy estimate is very wide.

“More precise efficacy estimates for this age group are expected soon, from both ongoing trials and vaccine effectiveness studies in countries that are using this vaccine.”

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