Moroccan vaccines and efficacy against the English variant

A few days before the effective launch of the national anti-covid vaccination campaign, Morocco announced that it had discovered its first case of contamination by the English variant of the new coronavirus. This is a Moroccan who arrived at the Port of Tangier aboard a boat from the city of Marseille.

To deal with this new strain, the Ministry of Health has set up a Consortium of laboratories with a functional sequencing platform. As part of its strategy for genomic monitoring of the new SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, the main mission of this Consortium is to identify the SARS-CoV2 variants circulating in Morocco and to characterize them by genomic sequencing.

This process has detected 24 cases of the English variant in the Kingdom, announced on February 20 the department of Khalid Ait Taleb, noting that the genomic watch did not detect any other South African or Brazilian variant in the country, thus calling the citizens to be more vigilant.

It should be remembered that the British variant is much more virulent and very contagious, up to 70%, which leads to a significant increase in positive cases for Covid-19 in a fairly short period of time. And the world has seen this in England, but also in France.

The question that arises in the face of this epidemiological novelty is whether the vaccines chosen by Morocco, namely the Chinese Sinopharm and the British Astrazeneca, are effective against the English variant?

Affirmative, argues the president of the National Federation of Health (FNS), Pr. Moulay Said Afif, joined by Hespress Fr on this subject. ” We thank God that we have neither the South African variant nor the Brazilian variant where the efficacy of the vaccine is in question. This is the most important detail according to moi ”, notes the specialist.

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To support his remarks, Prof. Afif explains that “The vaccines chosen by Morocco are effective against the English variant as evidenced by the decrease in hospitalizations in England since the launch of mass vaccination in the country. And among the vaccines chosen by the English, is the Astrazeneca for which Morocco has also opted“, He said.

Citizens must remain cautious and continue to respect preventive health measures (wearing a mask, physical distancing, etc.) so as not to experience what has been experienced in England and what France is experiencing today on the epidemiological side. Failure to comply with hygiene measures will lead us to an increase in positive Covid-19 cases and as a result, more restrictions, including confinement if the situation worsens, something we do not want“, He advocated.

To avoid going back to square one, namely the establishment of confinement, Prof. Said Afif calls on citizens to ” remain cautious and continue to respect the health measures in force while it is time to vaccinate the 80% of the population over 17 years old and thus achieve the collective immunity that we are seeking ”.

The researchers in charge of the British vaccine thus specified at the beginning of the month that the vaccine against the Covid-19, developed by the University of Oxford and the Astrazeneca laboratory, retains a “similar effectiveness” against the English variant which appeared in the south of England.

In a statement, the University of Oxford said analyzes of clinical trials conducted between October 1 and January 14 in the United Kingdom showed ” protection against similar symptomatic infections despite a lower amount of neutralizing antibodies ”.

Similarly, the head of English vaccine trials, Professor Andrew Pollard, clarified that the vaccine not only protects against the original pandemic virus, but also protects against the new variant B117 which caused the resurgence of the disease. in the UK from the end of 2020 ″.

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Regarding the other South African and Brazilian variants that cause concern, Oxford University or the Astrazeneca laboratory have not provided any comforting data.

Fingers crossed …

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