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Africa News of Sunday, 21 March 2021

Source: africafeeds.com

Ivory Coast: Abidjan residents receive jabs of AstraZeneca vaccine

People in Abidjan received the jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine with some relief on Friday after international health regulators said that the vaccine does not increase the overall incidence of blood clots, though it could not rule out a link to a small number of rare clots.

Several European countries briefly suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the coronavirus over fears of blood clots, and resumed it after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave its green light on Thursday.

While Ivory Coast did not suspend its vaccination campaign that launched at the beginning of March, doubts about the safety of the vaccine worried some of those who were ready to receive the jab.

Abidjan resident Mohamed Kouyate said people ''were concerned'' when countries like France decided to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca jab, but after the EMA gave the green light to it, he decided to receive it.

The West African country was one of the first ones in the continent to receive the AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX program.

President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina urged countries to avoid ''vaccine nationalism'' and said his organization will help the African continent "get organized and produce the therapeutic drug and also the vaccine" .

For some developing countries, it's either the AstraZeneca vaccine or nothing they are receiving, as it is cheaper and easier to store than others.

The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended the use of the AstraZeneca shot, putting its vaccination campaign on hold even before it began as it has no doses from other pharmaceutical companies.

The suspension has intensified vaccine scepticism; Abidjan market worker Simplice Toure said he will not get the vaccine after he said health authorities found it ''problematic.''

Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion, hopes to vaccinate 60% of its people by the end of 2022 against the coronavirus.

The eroding confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine only compounds the difficulties Africa will face in rolling out its inoculation campaigns.

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