“Benefits still outweigh the risks and countries should move forward” the director of Africa Centers for Disease Control said.
The African Union has urged African countries to continue its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccines regardless of other nations’ halt of the vaccine use due to concerns about blood clots.
The Union advice comes after countries like Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and recently Austria paused the vaccine use citing cases of blot clots among some persons to whom the vaccines had been administered.
South Africa had earlier in the year abandoned doses of AstraZeneca it acquired saying it was ineffective for the variant of COVID-19 found in the country.
Aside from the fact that AstraZeneca is far more affordable to many economically challenged African countries, its required storage temperature makes it easier to handle in most of Africa’s arid environment unlike other vaccines requiring deep cold chains to store.
“Benefits still outweigh the risks and countries should move forward” John Nkengasong, director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and prevention said to a news conference.
WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti told a media briefing on Thursday that she encourages countries “to continue with their vaccination campaigns and not to pause, as we are in a race against time.”
“The more people are protected, the less likelihood of mutations producing more dangerous variants of the virus,” she added
Although a review by the EU medicine regulator confirmed the safety of the vaccine, dissociating it from blood clot, some countries are still hesitant about continuing its inoculation programme with it.
14.5 million doses have been disseminated to various African countries including Nigeria with over 8,000 people said to be vaccinated already.
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