South African authorities have asked the Serum Institute of India to collect a million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford Institute.
The Economic Times newspaper writes about this with reference to officials. A batch of the drug was shipped to South Africa in early February.
The South African authorities came to such a decision after scientists announced the low efficacy of the AstraZeneca drug in the fight against the local strain.
The Serum Institute is AstraZeneca’s partner in the supply of vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
Earlier it became known that South Africa decided to stop the implementation of the plan to vaccinate the population with the AstaZeneca vaccine. Instead, they will use a drug from Johnson & Johnson.
Alejandro Kravioto, head of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), said that the AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended for use in countries where new strains of coronavirus infection are common. A group of experts examined the drug’s potential against the British virus mutation and against a type of infection circulating in South Africa. A preliminary analysis of the South African strain indicated that there is a decrease in the drug’s effectiveness against mild to moderate cases of the disease, as well as a “reduction in antibody production.”
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain 501.V2 was first identified in South Africa in October. This type of infection is now dominant in South Africa. According to preliminary data, it is more infectious.