Europe

AstraZeneca snub: Zahawi on the spot as British vaccine not used to boost Covid immunity

Nadhim Zahawi on why the AstraZeneca isn't used for boosters

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LBC radio presenter Nick Ferrari probed Nadhim Zahawi on why the AstraZeneca Covid vaccination has not been used for the booster jab rollout. Mr Zahawi defended the decision, citing data showing the AstraZeneca snub is due to it not being an mRNA vaccine unlike the other two vaccines on offer, Pfizer and Moderna. The Government has urged those to get a booster to protect their families this year at Christmas.

A caller who dialed into the show Monday morning put forth the question about AstraZeneca not being used for their booster jabs.

Mr Zahawi explained:  “Yes, I had AstraZeneca as well.

“Nick and I will be having my Pizer booster.”

Mr Ferrari asked whether faith had been lost in AstraZeneca following an earlier pause in the distribution of the jab because of reports of clotting.

But Mr Zahawi reassured him, saying: “No, not at all.

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“AstraZeneca is a great vaccine it is the backbone of the vaccination program globally protecting the world.

“We did a trial called ‘cov boost’ with the great Jonathan Van-Tam who was overseeing it and we used all the different vaccines as a booster.

“So Pfizer, half a dose of Moderna, AstraZeneca, and so on. AstraZeneca was good but Pfizer and Moderna gave you a massive uplift in antibody protection.”

When Mr Ferrari asked him to define how massive the protection is, the Education Secretary reassured Mr Ferrari by stating that protection was  “10 times, its extraordinary, I promise you.”

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He added: “It is absolutely incredible, which is why we’ve gone with Pfizer.”

”A single dose of Pizer or half a dose of Moderna is the right thing to do, make sure you get your booster.”

The LBC presenter then asked whether the value of AstraZeneca was debased, with Mr Zahawi quickly defending the vaccine by saying “not at all it’s still a really good vaccine” 

He said: “It depends if you’re having your first dose of vaccine or the booster dose of vaccine, so as a booster we are in a very fortunate position to have spent more probably per capacitor on trials of how the vaccines effectively protect people.”

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“Our trial demonstrates that actually, the Pizer vaccine or the Moderna half dose vaccine does deliver the highest level of protection, which is why we’ve gone with those,” concluded the Education Secretary.

The latest research from (ONS) the Office Of National Statistics shows that 15 million booster jabs have been given out in the UK already.

This comes as fear grows around the latest wave of covid-19 that is sweeping across Europe as the winter season begins.

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