Otago Daily Times
WHO recommends use of AstraZeneca shot
GENEVA: The benefits of the Covid19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University outweigh any risks and the shot should recommended for use, including in people aged 65 and older and in countries where the South African variant of the virus may reduce its efficacy, a World Health Organisation panel said yesterday.
In interim recommendations on the shot, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) panel said the vaccine should be given in two doses, with an interval of about 8 to 12 weeks between the first and second doses.
SAGE also said that even where questions had been raised about the vaccine’s efficacy against a South African variant of Covid19, ‘‘there is no reason not to recommend its use’’.
South Africa this week paused its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after data from a small trial showed it did not protect against mild to moderate illness from the 501Y.V2 variant of the virus now dominant in the country. — Reuters