Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 Co-Chairperson, Dr. John Phuka, says Malawi Government is reviewing whether to proceed with planned AstraZeneca vaccine rollout following the recent revelations on the effectiveness of the vaccine on the South African variant of the Covid-19 currently blamed for the increased cases in Malawi.
The development comes barely weeks before the first consignment of the vaccine is due to arrive in the country to help the country fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Africa has already put its roll-out of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hold after a study showed “disappointing” results against its new Covid variant, reports the BBC.
Scientists say the strain accounts for 90% of new Covid cases in South Africa.
The study, involving around 2,000 people, found the vaccine offered “minimal protection” against mild and moderate cases of Covid-19, according to the BBC.
South Africa has received 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab and was due to start vaccinating people next week.