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Oxford vaccine prevents hospital admission - WHO

Thursday February 11th 2021

The Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine has gained key backing from international experts after a series of controversies.

The researchers say they are hoping that vaccination can begin to reach many poor countries in hot climates following the World Health Organisation backing.

The vaccine has been found to have limited ability to prevent transmission of the South African mutation while some European leaders have questioned the evidence supporting its benefits for elderly patients.

The WHO experts said it was “likely to be” effective in older adults and that, crucially, it prevented hospital admission.

The supported a second dose given with 12 weeks of the first, stating that, so far, there had been no cases of severe disease after a second dose.

Developer Professor Sarah Gilbert said: “It is excellent news that the WHO has recommended use of the SARS CoV-2 vaccine first produced in Oxford. This decision paves the way to more widespread use of the vaccine to protect people against COVID-19 and gain control of the pandemic.”

The news was welcomed by Wellcome director Dr Jeremy Farrar, a scientific adviser to the British government.

Dr Farrar said: “This is an important step forward and clears the way for emergency use listing, which will help ensure vaccines are used in all countries, including low- and middle-income countries, and will be hugely beneficial in our fight against the virus. It’s right that South Africa is carefully considering its rollout, while collecting data on the efficacy against the new variant. This vaccine will still make an enormous difference to almost all countries and must be rapidly rolled out globally to save lives and get this pandemic under control.

“The world is at a critical juncture. These new variants are a powerful reminder that we’re now in a new and very unpredictable phase of this pandemic. It is vital healthcare workers and vulnerable populations in all countries are vaccinated as fast as possible.

“That means it is vital wealthy nations act now to begin sharing doses secured through bilateral deals and follow through on commitments to fair access.”

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | UK News | World Health

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