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Jul 16, 2021

Studies Underway to Determine Vaccine Efficacy

Dr. Geraldine Morazan

While there is proven scientific documentation on the efficacy of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine in fighting the COVID-19 virus, data on just how long this vaccine can be effective in the human body after its two doses have been administered is still pending. Studies are being conducted to determine this in the world and through Belize’s collaborative effort with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas, we are also doing a study to determine how long the vaccine can effectively fight off the virus and whether or not those of us who have gotten the two jabs will need yearly boosters, much like the ordinary flu shot.  News Five sat down today with Doctor Geraldine Morazan, the Director of Laboratory Services for the Ministry of Health, to find out how that study is going


Dr. Geraldine Morazan, Dir. Medical Lab. Service, Ministry of Health

“Right now we have about 800 persons participating in this study. And what we want to know is how the immune system – and this is what is very interesting because Belize is very unique because we have acquired only one vaccine which is Astra Zeneca, so we are studying people with the same vaccine. And we took samples from all those patients before the vaccine and measured the antibodies for them.  Whoever were positive was because they had already been infected with the virus and so they had their own antibodies.  So we measure that.  After the first vaccine, four to six weeks after that we took another sample and we measure the antibodies for them. To demonstrate if they have developed antibodies. We are going to do four measurements and after that we going to measure if we still have the antibodies measurements high or if they have depleted so if we don’t have any antibodies at the end of six months that will be a recommendation to the Ministry of Health to say we need to do a booster shot.”


Morazan says the study, which started in March, will continue for a year.


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