Benefits of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Outweigh Ris
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The World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) said on Feb.10 that the benefits of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the potential risks. "The data reviewed by WHO support the conclusion that the known and potential benefits of AZD1222 outweigh the known and potential risk," SAGE said.

SAGE: AstraZeneca vaccine showed 63.09 percent efficacy in studies. The second dose should be given at an interval of eight to 12 weeks between shots, the company says. The vaccine appears to be safe for individuals aged 65 and above, experts say.

"Immune responses induced by the vaccine in older persons are well documented and similar to those in other age groups," the expert group says. SAGE recommends the vaccine for use in countries, such as South Africa, where new strains are spreading.

WHO official says it's still worth vaccinating older adults with AstraZeneca vaccine. Efficacy could fall to as low as 10 percent. The vaccine is still worth it because of the high risk of severe disease and mortality in that age group, she says.

The WHO has earmarked the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the COVAX Facility, the global COVID-19 vaccine distribution initiative and the organization's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan expressed hope that the vaccine would receive emergency-use listing "very soon."

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