How long does AstraZeneca vaccine protect patients?
Vietnam will use 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine this year. How long does the vaccine’s effectiveness last?
Prof. Nguyen Van Kinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Society of Infectious Diseases, said that around 10% of health workers globally had been infected with Covid-19, and many died.
Fortunately, no medical staff in Vietnam has died so far. This is thanks to the experiences learnrd from the SARS epidemic in 2003, from updating epidemic control measures, as well as training, and using adequate means of protection.
Prof. Nguyen Van Kinh. Photo: Pham Hai
Some Vietnamese health workers were infected who had direct contact with Covid-19 patients but only wore a regular medical mask.
“Even a N95 mask can provide 95% of protective effect. So it is not surprising if health workers could still be infected with Covid-19,” said Prof. Kinh.
Vietnam must give priority to vaccinate the frontline anti-epidemic force against Covid-19.
The expert said that the vaccine that Vietnam is using - AstraZeneca - has completed clinical research in phase 3. It has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine is also reasonably priced and easily stored, so it is being bought by many countries.
However, any type of vaccine or drug has certain side effects. “The most common side effect is pain at the injection point and the most severe is anaphylaxis,” Prof. Kinh said.
He warned that the side effects of AstraZeneca vaccine on pregnant women or people under 18 years old have not been researched enough, so it is only recommended for being used for people of 18-60 years old.
However, trials in some European countries shows that the vaccine is still effective for people over 60 years old.
AstraZeneca vaccine has protective effect after two doses, reaching over 80%. The manufacturer's recommended protective period is at least seven months, he said.
Due to the lack of adequate research, post-vaccination monitoring is needed.
He said that the world has recorded 4,000 strains of the virus SARS-CoV-2. The virus is still evolving so the current Covid-19 vaccines must "follow" the mutation of virus.
In Vietnam, four strains have been recorded, including the B.1.1.7 virus strain in the UK. This strain can spread rapidly, but its virulence has not increased.
Health workers at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases were vaccinated on March 8.
The current research data shows that the AstraZeneca vaccine is still effective against the UK variant and basic strains.
At a press conference on March 8, Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan also emphasized that no vaccine is 100% safe or effective.
“Therefore, in order to protect society from Covid-19, besides vaccination, everyone needs to comply with the 5K recommendation of the Ministry of Health. I believe that by doing this well we will definitely stop Covid-19 pandemic," said Thuan.
Thuan also said that this year Vietnam will receive 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. Vietnam is negotiating with pharmaceutical firms like Pfizer, Moderna and Sputnik to have more vaccines.
The country aims to receive 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine thus year. This is the biggest vaccination campaign ever in the country.
On the morning of March 8, the first Vietnamese were injected with Covid-19 vaccine at four places:
Western nations have the capacity in terms of economic potential and the legal and moral aspects to promote access to vaccines on a global scale.