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New research supports use of AstraZeneca vaccine as booster

BY: Emmanuel Bruce

New data from Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford has further supported the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a third dose booster.


This follows a maiden research by the University in December.

The ongoing trial suggested an increased antibody response against Beta, Delta, Alpha and Gamma variants of the COVID-19 virus after a third dose booster with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Additional analysis showed increased antibody response to Omicron after a third dose.

The results were observed among individuals previously vaccinated with either AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or an mRNA vaccine.

A separate Phase IV trial also showed that a third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine substantially increased antibody levels following a primary vaccine series with CoronaVac (Sinovac Biotech).

Following this new trials, the producers of the vaccine has submitted these additional data to health authorities around the world, given the urgent need for third dose boosters.

Chief investigator and Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, Professor Andrew J Pollard, said the data suggested that the vaccine was suitable as an option to enhance immunity in the population for countries considering booster programmes, adding to the protection already demonstrated with the first two doses.”

Protecting lives

Commenting on the new research, the Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, Mr Mene Pangalos, said the vaccine had protected hundreds of millions of people from COVID-19 around the world.

He said the new data showed that it had an important role to play as a third dose booster, including when used after other vaccines.

“Given the ongoing urgency of the pandemic and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine’s increased immune response to the Omicron variant, we will continue to progress regulatory submissions around the world for its use as a third dose booster,” he stated.

Positive news

The Country President, Africa, AstraZeneca, Ms Barbara Nel, for her part, said the latest data was of particular importance, considering the spread of the Omicron variant.

“This is really positive news for Sub-Saharan Africa, where over 70 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied, and where countries are striving to attain their vaccination targets and some are beginning to roll out booster programmes,” she stated.