AU approves emergency use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

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South African Govt boosts spending on vaccination programmeThe AU has authorised the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, the chief of the bloc’s health agency said on Thursday.

The Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong said.

“The Africa CDC regulatory task force has now approved the emergency listing of two versions of AstraZeneca vaccines: the Oxford vaccine, that is the one produced in South Korea, and the second in India,” Nkengasong said.

The work is now underway to ensure safe vaccination across the region.

“We continue to work with countries to support them on safe vaccination administration. Very important training on COVID-19 vaccination by Africa CDC will be starting very, very soon,” Nkengasong added.

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Earlier in February, the centre recommended against using the AstraZeneca vaccine in those member states that have reported coronavirus cases of the South African variant, after the shot showed its limited efficacy against the strain.

Similarly, the expert committee of the Africa CDC is set to review Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the coming days and make a statement regarding its use on the continent, Nkengasong said.

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“Yes, we did reach out to these countries. The Russian Gamaleya group that produces Sputnik V vaccine has submitted its full dossiers.

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“I’m pleased to state that in the coming days, hopefully next week, the panel will come together and start discussing,” Nkengasong said.

On Feb. 19, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), which was set up by the AU with the aim to immunise 60 per cent of the continental population, said that Russia had offered 300 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine to the AU.

According to the health officials, AVATT will hold a meeting with the Sputnik V manufacturer to discuss all the details after which the expert committee will review the dossiers and make a pronouncement on them.

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“The vaccines, the 300 million does that have been agreed on, will be made available on the platform.

Making them available doesn’t mean that we have purchased them.

It means that countries can go through the platform and place their orders once we have given endorsement to that product,” Nkengasong said.

AVATT earlier secured more than 270 million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson vaccines. (Sputnik/NAN)

Vanguard News Nigeria

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