Senegal sets up drug safety system to monitor AstraZeneca inoculations

AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine
AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine

Senegal has set up a pharmacovigilance system to monitor people who have received their first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, Senegalese health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr said this Wednesday.

Speaking to Senegalese News Agency, Sarr said the system would be able to identify this vaccine’s side effects and to ensure “in a very scientific, very clear and rigorous way”, the measures to be adopted whenever necessary.

“Till now, the World Health Organization (WHO), which is, for us, the standard for the scientificity of things, has not asked us to withdraw the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said, adding that the European Medicines Agency has not either rejected AstraZeneca.

He said that he understood that some countries could take endogenous measures with the suspension of the vaccine.

However, he continued that “Senegal, on the basis of the recommendations of the Committee of experts and its institutional relations with the WHO, is monitoring the issue in the context of close surveillance.”

“For now, Senegal is continuing its vaccination campaign with Sinopharm and AstraZeneca,” Sarr said.

Senegalese health minister stressed that within the framework of the National Immunization Committee, all recommendations for the introduction of the vaccine have been given an OK and his country, “in the most relevant way”, is rolling out its vaccination strategy with China’s Sinopharm vaccine and that of AstraZeneca.

Senegal has seen fewer new infections and deaths related to COVID-19 in the past weeks.

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