Geneva (dpa) - Despite reports of weaknesses in Astrazeneca's corona vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) and experts recommend further use.

First studies from South Africa showed significantly less effectiveness in preventing relatively mild symptoms of the disease, said Alejandro Cravioto, chairman of an expert council advising the WHO, in Geneva on Wednesday.

However, there is no evidence that the vaccine does not protect against severe courses of Covid-19.

Even where the virus variant occurs, there is no reason not to use the vaccine, said Cravioto.

The WHO followed the recommendation.

The Independent Expert Council on Vaccination (SAGE) consists of 26 scientists.

He reviews studies and information on all vaccines and then makes a recommendation as to whether and how they should be used.

There is already a recommendation for the corona vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna.


WHO vaccination specialist Kate O'Brien said it is common with all vaccines that effectiveness is less evident in relatively mild disease courses than in severe courses.

"It is plausible to expect this vaccine to be effective against severe disease," she said.

In addition, the T-cell reaction, which is important for an immune response, is strong.

O'Brien emphasized that all vaccinated persons - regardless of which substance they were administered - had to continue to implement all corona rules, i.e. keep their distance and wear a mask.

This is important because after a vaccination you have a lower risk of serious disease progression, but you can probably continue to infect others.

So far, the WHO has only granted emergency approval to the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer.

This is a prerequisite for the purchase and use of vaccines by UN organizations.

Many countries that do not have their own vaccine assessment capabilities use this as a basis for their own decision.


In Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is responsible for testing.

She advises the EU Commission, which decides on approval.

She has so far approved three corona vaccines: those from Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210210-99-385160 / 3

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