Africa CDC stands by AstraZeneca jab

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Africa CDC stands by AstraZeneca jab

The AZ and J&J vaccines will remain pivotal to continent’s plan to stop Covid-19, says director

Senior features writer

Africa CDC director Dr John Nkengasong started his weekly Covid-19 briefing on Thursday on a different note by expressing support for the deployment of the AstraZeneca (AZ) Covid-19 vaccine in Africa, after confusing reports last week that the health agency had ditched the vaccine.

“I would like to remind the public that the Africa CDC continues to recommend the uptake of the AstraZeneca vaccine, noting that the benefits of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine continue to outweigh its risks,” he said.

Nkengasong explained that the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Force was no longer negotiating with the vaccine’s biggest manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India (SII), for doses because they were in short supply — and it did not want to compete with its ally, global vaccine sharing platform Covax, which secures its stocks from the SII...

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