Coronavirus: WHO expert examines AstraZeneca vaccine whose effectiveness is in question

Some countries, including Belgium, have preferred to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine only for those younger than 65 or 55, for lack of sufficient data on its effectiveness for the elderly. WHO is looking into the matter.

LExperts from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday are investigating AstraZeneca’s anti-Kovid-19 vaccine, whose effectiveness is now for the elderly and against the South African version of the virus, with South Africa also going so far as to vaccinate it. Postpone the campaign.

The AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine, which the United Kingdom was the first to administer extensively to its population in December, has already been approved by several other countries and the European Union. But some countries, including Belgium, preferred to recommend it only to those younger than 65 or 55, for lack of sufficient data on its effectiveness for the elderly.

On Sunday, South Africa postponed the start of its vaccination program, which was scheduled to take place in the coming days with a million AstraZeneca vaccines, after a study revealed “limited” effectiveness against the local version of the virus.

According to the preliminary results of this study, the vaccine is only 22% effective against moderate forms of the South African version. No results are yet available on its effectiveness against severe forms.

Less convincing, less expensive

“The first result confirms that mutations of the virus found in South Africa can be transmitted to an already vaccinated population,” said a statement from the University of Johannesburg study on the study, which is currently Has not been investigated by peers.

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A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said, “We believe that our vaccine will protect against severe forms of the disease.”

Immunization experts from the WHO Strategic Committee met with videoconferencing on Monday to make provisional recommendations for the use of this vaccine. According to the WHO, this advisory group of 15 experts, dubbed, will pay “special attention” to the question of “the use of the vaccine on older adults”.

According to the WHO, recommendations should be made on whether it should not be made public within the week.

At the same meeting, AstraZeneca was scheduled to make a presentation on the safety and efficacy data of the vaccine, also known as AZD1222, as well as the results of three phases of human testing.

With an average effectiveness for 70% of the time, the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is less assured for the moment than Pfizer / BioNotech or Modern, whose effectiveness exceeds 90%. But this vaccine uses more traditional technology, which makes it less expensive, easier to store because it can be stored in the refrigerator and not at very low temperatures, and therefore more suitable for large-scale vaccination campaigns. is.

According to a report set up by AFP on Monday, the coronovirus epidemic has killed more than 2.31 million people worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December 2019. More than 106 million cases have been diagnosed.

Coronavirus: “Le Soir” answers your questions about vaccination

LThere are now three vaccines in Belgium, from Pfizer / Bioentech, Modern and AstraZeneca, to fight the coronovirus. The first phase of vaccination has already begun, especially for nursing homes and healthcare professionals.

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In March, vaccination will begin for more than 65 patients, at-risk patients and so-called “essential” functions. In June, more than 18 people who wish to be vaccinated can be vaccinated at a center.

During a special “Vaccination” Day, this Tuesday, 9 February, told reporters evening With the help of experts, Belgium and around the world will take stock of the vaccination and answer any questions you have.

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