Cheap and easy to store, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has helped us boost the global fight against coronavirus. However, there have been speculations regarding blood clots and production delays. Here are some facts to clarify the speculations and letting people know the vaccine better:
The cost per dose for this vaccine is around $3.40 and can be easily stored at refrigerator temperatures, making it ideal for large-scale vaccination drives.
The Oxford-AstraZene cavaccine is authorized for usage in 70 countries.
More than 9.2 million doses have been administered in the EU countries, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
Cases of blood clots are extremely rare. The European Medicines Agency reported that there were 62 such cases worldwide, out of which 44 from the European Economic Area.
In mid-March, AstraZeneca reported, “no evidence” of higher blood clots risk from its vaccine. However, Denmark and Norway have paused their vaccination drive. Several countries have resumed vaccination as the blood clots only seemed to happen in younger people.
The vaccine was first approved for use in Britain, as the country ordered 100 million doses.
In January, AstraZeneca announced that it could only deliver one-third of the 120 million doses as promised initially to the 27 member states in the first quarter.
In March, Italy stopped 250,000 from being exported to Australia citing “persistent shortage” and” delays in supply” as the reason.
The Chimpanzee Link
The vaccine is “virus-vectored”, which means it is a version of a virus that normally infects chimpanzees, and has been modified with a portion of the COVID-19 coronavirus known as “spike protein” to fire the immune system.
Confusion in Results
In November, AstraZeneca announced its interim findings stating the vaccine to be 70 percent effective on average, which was much lower than that of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
A recent study found the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be 60-73 percent effective against symptoms in people over 70 years of age. Last month, AstraZeneca announced their vaccine to be 79 percent effective, but shortly after, revised the number to 76 percent.