AstraZeneca does not have to be cooled at particularly low temperatures
Last week, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) approved the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use in the country.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine. Scientists used an adenovirus, originally derived from chimpanzees, and modified it with the aim of training the immune system to mount a strong response against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
Here are 6 things to note about the AstraZeneca vaccine:
- There has been a lot of controversies surrounding the efficacy of the vaccine although recently, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) issued interim recommendations for use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222).
- AstraZeneca vaccination is recommended for persons with co-morbidities that have been identified as increasing the risk of severe COVID-19, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Persons living with HIV or auto-immune conditions or who are immune, who are part of a group recommended for vaccination may be vaccinated after receiving information and counselling. Vaccination can be offered to breastfeeding women if they are part of a group prioritized for vaccination. WHO does not recommend discontinuation of breastfeeding after vaccination.
- The vaccine does not work for the South African variant of the Virus. As a result, South Africa temporarily stopped its planned vaccinations with the vaccine.
- Like in South Africa, report also revealed that in Europe, thousands of healthcare workers are refusing to take the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns about side effects and efficacy, with some arguing that they should be prioritized for the more effective doses from Pfizer and Moderna.
- BUA Group and CACOVID bought 1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses for Nigerians
- The Astrazeneca vaccine is considered important for developing countries, mainly because it does not have to be cooled at particularly low temperatures although Australia and Saudi-Arabia also approved it for emergency use.
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