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Vaccine shortage

as Liberia records 1,134 new cases in one week

Hundreds of Liberians, if not thousands, who took the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 jabs may not be too fortunate to have the second round of vaccines anytime soon, as the Government of Liberia reports shortage, appealing to anxious citizens reporting at the Ministry of Health daily for vaccination to exercise patience.

Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Minister of Health, Doctor Francis Kateh who confirmed the shortage Monday, July 5, 2021 via mobile on OK Fm said over 90,000 of the 96,000 AstraZeneca vaccines brought into the country in April has been administered.

However, he says stock of the vaccines in counties with less demands, will be brought back to Monrovia to enable citizens waiting for the second dose have access.

Doctor Kateh discloses that as of last week, total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Liberia have reached 4,976 which is nearly 5,000 with 134 deaths.

Lifespan of the AstraZeneca vaccines in the country expires on July 10th, according to the Deputy Minister, but he says those who have taken the first dose, have the potency for 8 to 12 weeks.

Liberians have been pouring at the Ministry of Health and hospitals across Monrovia to get vaccinated in the wake of resurgence of the virus, specially the Delta variant, a new strain that is more dangerous than the earlier outbreak. 

Dr. Kateh adds that government is working with partners, including UNICEF, WHO to have additional supplies in the country.

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At the same time he clarified that Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in the United States is not in Liberia, contrary to rumors.       

According to CNN, the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine provides immunity that lasts at least eight months, and it appears to provide adequate protection against the worrying Delta variant, quoting company statement.

“Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, head of research and development at J&J’s Janssen vaccine arm, said in a statement reported by CNN.

The company is further quoted as saying one dose of the vaccine elicits both a lasting antibody response and generates immune cells called T-cells that last eight months, also. http://Ellen joins Covid-19 vaccine campaignStory by Jonathan Browne

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