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African Union drops plans to buy Covid-19 vaccines from India

News Desk

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, codenamed AZD1222 and sold by the Serum Institute under the brand name ‘Covishield’, has been facing concern from experts worldwide after a few rare blood clotting-events were reported in several European countries.
The African Union has dropped its plans to buy coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and is instead exploring options with Johnson & Johnson, a news agency reported on Thursday, citing the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, codenamed AZD1222 and sold by the Serum Institute under the brand name ‘Covishield’, has been facing concern from experts worldwide after a few rare blood clotting-events were reported in several European countries.
European drug regulators say there’s some evidence of a link between AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and a rare type of blood clots, though occurrences are low, according to a Bloomberg report. It’s up to individual countries to set guidelines, which means there’s no unified response, something that may confuse, or even worry, people due to receive the shot. Some countries are still using it on all adults for now, others are restricting to certain age groups, and a few have stopped it completely.
The African Union has said that the Serum Institute of India will still supply the AstraZeneca vaccine to the continent through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, but additional supplies would be sought from Johnson & Johnson. John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa CDC, said however that the possible link between the Anglo-Swedish vaccine and the blood clot reports had nothing to do with the Union’s decision. The Africa Union, a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent, has shifted its efforts to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Nkengasong said, citing the deal signed last week to secure up to 400 million doses beginning in the third quarter of this year.

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