The first quantities of Astrazeneka’s vaccine, 150,000 doses, arrived in Serbia over the weekend, and Marija Gnjatović from the Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy told RTS yesterday that vaccination with this vaccine should start today.
In a statement for Danas, Gnjatović also pointed out that she expects Astrazenek’s vaccine to show similar results as satellite V, because they are based on a similar concept, and the only difference is in the type of adenovirus they use.
– Examining the effectiveness of different vaccines, in terms of creating antibodies, on a group of health workers who received different vaccines, we saw that everyone who received satellite V developed antibodies, says Gnajtović. She explains that there were 300 people in the examined group of health workers who received the satellite.
In recent weeks, some European countries have recommended that Astrazeneca vaccine be given to people aged 18 to 55 and 18 to 65, respectively, due to insufficient data on efficacy among the elderly population, and whether a similar decision will be made in Serbia yesterday. The Drug Agency did not answer our questions.
This vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which, like the World Health Organization (WHO), believes that the Astrazeneca vaccine can also be given to the elderly.
Both organizations point out that it is true that a limited number of older subjects participated in clinical trials (13 percent of them were older than 65 years), which means that efficacy in this group cannot be adequately assessed.
However, as they add, there are no reasons why a different immune response would be expected among the older population compared to the one seen in younger people.
Previously, one of the first countries to announce that it could age-limit the use of the Astrazeneca vaccine was Germany, and Austria and France acted similarly, while Spain decided to give this vaccine to citizens aged 18 to 55.
Countries that have introduced age restrictions have also made a kind of redistribution of vaccines, so in Spain, the Astrazeneca vaccine is given to citizens aged 45 to 55, while people older than 55 with comorbidities will receive the Modern and Pfizer vaccine.
In addition to efficacy, the question has been raised among the elderly population in recent weeks as to whether the Astrazeneca vaccine is effective against new strains of coronavirus, primarily South African, for which no encouraging data have been received.
A study involving 2,000 people in South Africa showed that the vaccine provides minimal protection against mild to moderate disease caused by the South African strain of coronavirus.
Given that a limited number of subjects who were not otherwise at risk of developing severe covid 19 participated in the study, the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing the development of severe disease could not be assessed.
After approving the use of the Astrazeneca vaccine in the EU, the EMA first announced that the effectiveness of this vaccine was 60 percent, based on the results of clinical studies that included respondents from Great Britain and Brazil.
Phase three of the clinical trial also included subjects from South Africa.
Taking into account data from all three countries, Astrazeneka said in early February that the vaccine was 76 percent effective after the first dose and 82 percent after the second dose. Two doses are taken 12 weeks apart.
The WHO points out that indirect evidence suggests that the vaccine protects against the severe form of covid 19. The WHO currently recommends the use of the Astrazeneca vaccine, even though new strains are present in a single country.
Asked if there is a risk that the South African strain of coronavirus will spread significantly to Europe, which would affect the effects of the Astrazeneca vaccine, Marija Gnjatovic said that we should not be so worried about new strains of coronavirus as the fact that there is an increase in disrespect. measure.
– It is possible that the South African strain is a port in Europe to a greater extent than is currently known, however, the strains themselves are not so much a cause for concern as the current epidemiological situation and the fact that we have relaxed. The increase in the number of infected people was not due to new strains, but due to non-compliance with measures and vaccinations, it is worth nothing if we do not adhere to the measures. People became infected after the first dose of the vaccine, and it was not so dangerous for them because they had some protection after the first, but it was dangerous for those who became infected, and who did not receive any dose of the vaccine, concludes Gnjatović.
Authorities said earlier that it had been agreed that Astrazeneca would deliver 800,000 doses of vaccine to Serbia. The doses that are now delivered were produced by the Serum Institute of India, which states that it can produce 50 million doses per month.
The Astrazeneca vaccine costs about three pounds, and is stored at a temperature that ordinary refrigerators can provide, making it less demanding to distribute and store than the RNA vaccine.
Pager in medicine is 99.7 percent effective
Marija Gnjatović explains that the research among health workers on the effectiveness of vaccines, taking into account the production of antibodies, showed that Pfizer is 99.7 percent effective (sample of 500 respondents), and that the production of antibodies after receiving Sinofarm vaccine takes longer. “That should not worry the citizens because it is expected that the antibodies will stay in the body longer,” Gnjatović added.
A combination of satellite and Astrazeneca
The producers of the Sputnik V vaccine have announced that they will start testing the combinations of their vaccine with Astrazenekin, so that the respondents would first receive the Astrazenekin vaccine, and Sputnik V as the second dose, the Tas agency recently reported. The director of the Russian Investment Fund, Kiril Dmitrijev, said earlier that the study in which the two vaccines would be combined would be performed in Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and that the first results should be known in March-April.
Available in all municipalities
The director of the Office for IT and eGovernment, Mihailo Jovanović, stated that vaccination will be possible in every part of Serbia from Tuesday yesterday. He said, as reported by the electronic media, that the vaccines will be sent to every municipality and that citizens who want it, or have previously stated that, will be able to receive the vaccine against the coronary virus Astrazenek.
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