Fiona Ruzha, Health Reporter
CO-CHAIRPERSON of Virological Monitoring, Dr Justin Manasa, says components contained by the Sinopharm vaccine make it safer for uptake as it is made up of an inactivated form of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV- 2).
The uptake of the first batch of the vaccination seems to be very low because of conspiracy theories that have been awash on different social media platforms, despite Government’s efforts in encouraging citizens.
However, Dr Manasa said the vaccine stimulates different aspects of the immune response targeting different proteins on the virus which makes it differ from other vaccines.
He added that they are implementing monitoring programmes to identify any virus changes.
“As we are monitoring the pandemic, we need to make sure that we do genomic surveillance which looks at the virus changes over time, to see how much it is changing and that will also guide us on the vaccines that we are using.
“In terms of the monitoring programmes that we are embarking on, we are monitoring the virus as we are implementing the vaccine in our population and trying to identify if there are any changes that enable the virus to infect people despite them being vaccinated.
“So we then discuss on that information with people who are developing vaccines so that they can adapt the vaccines to the circulating strains in our population,” he said.