WHO Backs AZ Vaccine Amid Concerns, Supports Longer Dosing Schedule

Date: February 11, 2021 | Country: BELGIUMNETHERLANDSSWITZERLANDUNITED STATES | Region: EUROPE | Type: Policy | Keywords: #africa #astrazeneca #coronavirus 
#covid #dosing #schedule #vaccine #who

PRICENTRIC BRIEF:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended wide use of the AstraZeneca (AZ) and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in adults over 18, regardless of variant situation
  • The decision, which was made by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) panel, comes just after South Africa suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following data that shows it offers limited protection against a new strain of the virus
  • In addition to the backing, WHO declared that the dosing schedule should be an interval of eight to 12 weeks, which is in keeping with the UK’s roll-out scheme

 

THE DETAILS

GENEVA, Switzerland – The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended wide use of the AstraZeneca (AZ) and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in adults over 18, regardless of the variant situation.

The decision, which was made by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) panel, comes just after South Africa suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following data that shows it offers limited protection against a new strain of the virus.

However, “There is no reason not to recommend its use even in countries that have circulation of the variant,” said Dr Alejandro Cravioto, chairman of the SAGE panel.

In addition to the backing, WHO declared that the dosing schedule should be an interval of eight to 12 weeks, which is in keeping with the UK’s roll-out scheme.

The endorsement comes amid a string of roll-out hits for AstraZeneca, with Portugal saying that it should preferably be used on only under 65s, joining Germany, France, Austria and Norway, who have all made the same decision. In addition, Poland is limiting it to under 60s and Spain and Italy to under 55s.

On February 1, the European Commission also published its redacted vaccine contract with AstraZeneca, on the same day that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approval for the UK-grown vaccine.

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