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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Coronavirus vaccine doesn’t provide solid immunity, needs to be repeated every year: Egypt's presidential adviser

In April, both Pfizer and Moderna announced that their vaccines provided at least six months of protection

Ahmed Morsy , Sunday 11 Jul 2021
Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din
Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din
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The coronavirus vaccine is similar to the seasonal influenza vaccination that doesn’t provide life-time immunity, known as solid immunity, and it needs to be repeated at least every year, presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din said on Sunday.

In a phone-in with Extra News TV channel, Tag El-Din pointed out that one of the major vaccine companies has announced that it needs to vaccinate citizens again after 6 months.

Though the world is in the midst of the largest and most rapid global deployment of vaccines that it has ever seen, concerns still remain over how long immunity induced by the coronavirus vaccines will last.

In April, both Pfizer and Moderna announced that their vaccines provided at least six months of protection.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Scott Hensley, a professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, as saying some people have incorrectly concluded that those vaccines offer only six months of protection, stressing that “that’s false.”

“We only have six months of data...Six months from now it’s likely we’ll learn we have one year of protection,” Hensley.

According to the international vaccine alliance GAVI, when new vaccines are developed, it is only through ongoing wide-scale use that we can better understand their ability to prevent transmission and the duration of immunity. Because of this, it has been too soon to say exactly how long these COVID-19 vaccines will protect people for, and whether we might need a booster shot further down the line. 

Egypt, which has been recently witnessing a sharp decline in daily infections, started its vaccination campaign in January using Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Last week, Egypt’s health ministry announced that it has locally produced 1 million doses of Sinovac vaccine through the state-owned Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA), which lies within its goal to produce 80 million doses by the end of this year to vaccinate 40 million citizens.

Last month, Health Minister Hala Zayed said that Egypt has the second highest vaccination rate against COVID-19 in Africa following Morocco.

As of 8 July 2021, according to the WHO, a total of 4,560,082 vaccine doses have been administered in Egypt.

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