We should take the AstraZeneca vaccine


IT is good that the Government has opened up for public opinion on the AstraZeneca vaccine against the Covid-19 that arrived recently.
I participated as a frontline research worker when conducting clinical field trials of various vaccines in Papua New Guinea, including the pigbel vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine in various stages and the haemophilus influenzae b vaccines in various formats, and others throughout my 35 years of clinical research with the PNG Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR).
The following are based on personal opinion and do not represent PNGIMR as an institute.
To the learned people in the medical and scientific world, I would like to encourage people to read recent publications in The Lancet where several recent publications have been made regarding clinical field trials of 58 different vaccines to prevent Sars-CoV2.
My interest in this column is on the AstraZeneca vaccine that the Australian people, through their government, have donated to the people of Papua New Guinea.
There have been clinical field trials conducted in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa on more than 12,000 participants using the AstraZeneca vaccine.
While some vaccines are being distributed in different countries at either a single dose or with a booster more than 28 days later, the vaccine has been specially designed for low and middle income countries and is given in two separate doses at 28 days apart.
The clinical field trials conducted in several countries, including the United States, have been on participants between 18 and 55 years old.
The results from field, laboratory and hospital settings agree with each other. There are ongoing clinical trials on humans at different phases of research in different countries with similar results.
These results were published in leading medical and scientific journals including The Lancet.
Progressive work at phase two and three indicate that although the AstraZeneca vaccine is affective against the Covid-19 by 70 per cent compared to other vaccines with a slightly higher rate, the direct impact the AstraZeneca vaccine has on reduced hospital admission and death is 100 per cent.
Since Papua New Guinea is dependent on donations by friendly countries such as Australia and from organisations, it is in our best interest to welcome the vaccines with open arms.
We can then allow the Government to look for funds to purchase other vaccines deemed more efficacious than the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Again, this is my personal opinion and does not represent my employer, PNGIMR.

Gerard Saleu