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Vaccines for our elders start tomorrow |25 January 2021

Vaccines for our elders start tomorrow

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India (copyright: Getty Images)

Good news for our elderly. They will finally be able to receive the COVISHIELD Oxford-Aztrazenotec vaccine as of tomorrow, Tuesday January 26.

These vaccines, comprising 50,000 doses, arrived in a consignment last Friday from India.

The schedule is as follows:

ICCS COVISHEILDS - Anse Etoile District Above 60 years from 8am to 5pm

Yellow Roof Morning - COVISHIELDS for health workers above 60 years 8am to 12 noon.

Grand Anse Mahé DA COVISHIELDS – Port Glaud Grand Anse Mahé - above 60 years from 8am - 5pm.

Anse Royale DA COVISHIELDS - Anse Aux Pins - above 60 years 8am - 5pm

Beau Vallon DA COVISHIELDS - Beau Vallon District - above 60 years 8am - 5pm

Praslin Baie Ste Anne DA COVISHIELDS - Baie Ste Anne – above 60 years 8am -5pm


What is the Covishield vaccine?

According to a BBC news article, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer. It says it is producing more than 50 million doses a month. The vaccine, which is known as Covishield, is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus - although it can't cause illness.

When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any coronavirus infection. The jab is administered in two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart. It can be safely stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C, about the same as a domestic refrigerator, and can be delivered in existing health care settings such as doctors' surgeries. This makes it easier to distribute than some of the other vaccines.

The jab developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, which is currently being administered in several countries, must be stored at -70C and can only be moved a limited number of times - a particular challenge in India, where summer temperatures can reach 50C.


How effective is Covishield?

The same article said that international clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed that when people were given a half dose and then a full dose, effectiveness hit 90%. But there was not enough clear data to approve the half-dose, full-dose idea.

However, unpublished data suggests that leaving a longer gap between the first and second doses increases the overall effectiveness of the jab - in a sub-group given the vaccine this way it was found to be 70% effective after the first dose.


Compiled by Vidya Gappy

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