AstraZeneca jab behind UK’s lower death rate than Europe, vaccine expert claims

AstraZeneca jab behind UK’s lower death rate than Europe, vaccine expert claims

The UK’s early reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine could be a reason why the country’s death rate is currently below other European nations, a former head of the vaccine taskforce has claimed.

Dr Clive Dix said he believed the jab “may just get us out of the woods” as it helped to stave off serious Covid for longer than RNA-based alternatives made by Pfizer and Moderna.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was approved last December.

AstraZenca vaccines were rolled out among the older and the most vulnerable in society.

“If you look across Europe, with the rise in cases, there’s also a corresponding lagged rise in deaths, but not in the UK,” Dr Dix told The Daily Telegraph.

“I personally believe that’s because most of our vulnerable people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

He explained although the RNA jabs produce a more rapid jump in antibody levels in lab tests, other vaccines may be better at preparing another part of the immune system – cellular immunity.

That includes the T-cells that help fight off an infection in the body.

“We’ve seen early data that the Oxford jab produces a very durable cellular response and if you’ve got a durable cellular immunity response then they can last for a long time. It can last for life in some cases.” He added.

“I do think we’ve lost the battle with transmission. There’s no vaccine that is going to change that. I think we should focus on the cellular immune response and it may just get us out of the woods.”

AstraZeneca was one of the first jabs on the market.

Under 40s were offered an alternative jab to the AstraZenca due to a link with rare blood clots.