Who can get the AstraZeneca vaccine?
People older than 15 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine can also be given to people who have problems with their immune system. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a healthcare professional about vaccination.
People who are allergic to any of the components of the vaccine should not get this vaccine.
Is AstraZeneca recommended for older people?
Yes, it is. Studies show that antibodies that fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus develop in the blood of older people after the first vaccination. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which approves all medicines in the European Union, and the World Health Organization also recommend the use of AstraZeneca in people over 65 years of age.
In the United Kingdom, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been used for vaccination of all adults since early January. The vaccine was first given to a group of older people.
How many doses of AstraZeneca are required?
Two injections are needed to achieve maximum effectiveness of the vaccine. Resistance develops 2-3 weeks after the first vaccination, which may protect you from severe forms of COVID-19 disease. The second vaccine further enhances the immune response and ensures that resistance to COVID-19 disease would persist longer.
What is the time interval between AstraZeneca vaccinations?
There is an interval of 12 weeks between the two injections of AstraZeneca. The available data suggest that such a long interval provides a stronger immune response than when there is a shorter interval between vaccinations.
What is the effectiveness of the vaccine?
Clinical trials have shown that the AstraZeneca vaccine protects against severe forms of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization by 100%. A trial of 17,000 people from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil showed that there is 76% protection against getting infected with the COVID-19 virus already after the first AstraZeneca dose. This protection lasts for three months until the second dose. After the second dose, the effectiveness of protection rises to 82%.
What are the possible common side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine?
The most common side effects are mild to moderate, and people’s health improves within a few days of vaccination. Some people may experience pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever after being vaccinated. Some may experience nausea and vomiting. These side effects occurred in more than 1 in 10 people in the clinical trial of the vaccine.
How does the AstraZenec vaccine work?
The AstraZeneca vaccine is the so-called vector vaccine. It is made using an attenuated, harmless adenovirus that cannot multiply in the human body. Genetic information from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been incorporated into the composition of this virus that cannot cause the COVID-19 disease. When a carrier virus (vector) is injected into a human body with a vaccine, information is obtained on how to produce the surface protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If a person gets infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus after the vaccination, the immune system is activated and the virus is killed, thus preventing COVID-19 disease.
What countries use the AstraZeneca vaccine?
The vaccine is used in many countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom and the entire European Union.
World Health Organization’s information on the AstraZeneca vaccine:
In English: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know
In Russian: https://www.who.int/ru/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-oxford-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-what-you-need-to-know
More information from the Lithuanian Ministry of Health on the AstraZeneca vaccine: