Saturday, November 27, 2021

Pharma boss sure: “AstraZeneca would have prevented the fourth wave”

Pharma boss sure: “AstraZeneca would have prevented the fourth wave”

It sounds like a daring thesis that the AstraZeneca boss is putting forward. In Great Britain, unlike in the EU, there are hardly any deaths because London has relied on the better vaccine – namely his. Could the fourth wave have been prevented?

Rene Rabeder
24 November 2021 11:56

More than 15,000 new infections and another 66 fatalities were reported in Austria on Wednesday. The path out of the crisis now drawn by politicians: lockdown, vaccination and, above all, “boosters”. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is as good as out of the running. Across the EU, the vaccine fell into disrepute early on in the vaccination campaign. Because of doubts about its effectiveness in certain age groups and not least because of the risk of rare sinus vein thrombosis.

According to AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot, the different uses of the controversial vaccine could explain why hardly any people die from the virus in Great Britain – but very much in the EU.

Different immune responses of the vaccines

Soriot told the BBC that it was “really interesting when you look at the UK. There was a high spike in infections there, but not as many hospitalizations as in Europe. In the UK, the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine was used to vaccinate the elderly, while in Europe it was initially thought that the vaccine would not work in the elderly. “

At the moment there is no evidence for his theses and there is still too little data. In fact, according to experts, there are reasons why the vaccine from AstraZeneca could cause slightly different immune responses than, for example, the mRNA vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer, writes the British “Guardian”. Both vaccines provide the cells with the genetic instructions to produce the coronavirus spike protein, but AstraZeneca’s vaccine does this with the help of a modified virus to which the immune system could also respond, explains Der Spiegel.

Do the recovered make the difference?

Of course, other reasons for the currently lower number of hospitalizations and deaths in Great Britain are also conceivable: The vaccination rate in the UK, at 68.7 percent of the population, is similarly low as in Austria. However, significantly more people were infected with the virus in the first waves of the disease than in this country. And as people who have recovered, they have acquired a certain level of protection against the course of severe illness

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