‘Covid-19 jab messaging damaging confidence in Africa’

Africa

The mixed messaging over the AstraZenca coronavirus jab is affecting vaccine confidence in low and middle income countries, the co-chair of the African Union’s Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance for Covid-19 has said.

Dr Ayoade Alakija told BBC World News that the vaccine is being rolled out to over two billion people and is often the only option available.

But countries with large populations of under 30s will question why they are being asked to take it when other countries like the UK are offering alternatives for that age group, Dr Alakija said.

The European Union’s medicines regulator has said unusual blood clots should be listed as a possible very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, but that the benefits outweighed the risks.

AstraZeneca has said that both the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reviews reaffirmed that the benefits of the vaccine “continue to far outweigh the risks”.