Five Things To Know About The AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine
Cheap and easy to store, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has boosted the global fight against coronavirus but fears over cases of rare blood clots and production delays have marred its rollout
London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Apr, 2021 ) :Cheap and easy to store, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has boosted the global fight against coronavirus but fears over cases of rare blood clots and production delays have marred its rollout.
Here are five facts about the vaccine.
- Practicality - The AstraZeneca vaccine costs about 2.50 ($3.40, 2.75 Euros) per dose and can be kept at refrigerator temperatures, making it ideal for large-scale vaccination programmes.
The vaccine has been authorised for use in more than 70 countries, AstraZeneca says.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on March 31 that there had been 62 cases worldwide of a rare clotting condition, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, 44 of them in the European Economic Area.
Many countries have resumed the vaccine's use only for older people, aged 55 and above, because the blood clots affected younger people.
The EMA said March 18 that the AstraZeneca jab is safe and effective.
The EMA is expected to announce updated advice on April 7.
- Delays in delivery - The vaccine was first approved for use in the general population in Britain, which ordered 100 million doses.
In the EU, delivery delays have led to strong criticism of the Anglo-Swedish firm.
- Chimpanzees - The vaccine is "virus-vectored", meaning it is a version of a virus that normally infects chimpanzees and has been modified with a portion of the Covid-19 coronavirus called the "spike protein" to fire the immune system.
Once in human cells, the vaccine should help stimulate the production of antibodies that recognise the virus.
The vaccine is "safe and effective", according to data published by The Lancet medical journal in December, with only one of 23,754 volunteers who participated in the trials experiencing "possibly-related severe side effects".
This was a case of a rare neurological condition that forced the temporary suspension of trials.
- Result confusion- AstraZeneca announced in interim findings in November that its vaccine was on average 70 percent effective, compared with more than 90 percent for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
The efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine was 90 percent for volunteers who first received only a half dose and then a full dose one month later, but only 62 percent for those in another group who were vaccinated with two full doses one month apart.
A more recent study conducted by health authorities in England has shown protection of between 60 percent and 73 percent against symptoms in people over 70 years old, with a single dose.
Last month, AstraZeneca announced a US trial showed 79 percent effectiveness but then revised this to 76 percent after the US authorities raised concerns that some results were outdated.
The US has not yet approved its use domestically.