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What’s in jab? Doctor reveals the recipe of life-saving AstraZeneca covid vaccine

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

Each COVID-19 vaccine is unique, and vaccination effectiveness is a complicated topic that has been a hot topic since the outbreak began.

Every day, millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine are given out as governments try to vaccinate a large enough portion of the population to achieve herd immunity.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the UK, Dr Catherine Greens, who assisted in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine, took advantage of the chance to educate an anti-vaxxer campmate while waiting in the pizza queue.

“We don’t know what’s in it,” was the argument put forward by the anti-vaxxer, to which Dr Green replied:

I know I’m just here in the pizza queue with you, but I do know what’s in it. I’m the best person in the world to tell you what’s in it, because I made it with my team in Oxford and here’s the recipe.

“It has the virus in it,” began Dr Green.

The virus which is the vaccine – a replication-incompetent chimpanzee adenovirus – can’t cause disease in humans.

It’s a delivery mechanism to get the code for spike into your body, and the rest of it is pretty much just salty water.

The associate professor at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (WHG), at Oxford, noted other components of the vaccines.

Dr Green said live on air that the AstraZeneca jab contains sodium chloride, buffer, and preservatives – “to keep it from growing bugs in it”.

Referencing her and Professor Sarah Gilbert’s book – Vaxxers: The Inside Story of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine and the Race Against the Virus – Dr Green made clear that the book has the full ingredients list.

Not only that, “all those ingredients are listed with descriptions of what they’re there for”, Dr Green pointed out.

“All the vaccines are highly effective,” reassured Professor Gilbert, but she recognizes “they’re not perfect”.

They’re never going to be 100 percent effective in stopping every single person from getting infected.

Professor Gilbert added that:

we’re getting very high levels of protection against severe disease – and that’s a really important thing.

What really matters is stopping people from getting an infection so severe that they have to go into hospital – and that’s working really well with the vaccine.

In regards to vaccine hesitancy, Dr Green said it’s “perfectly reasonable” to be resistant about things that are new.

“It’s our job to get the information and the truth out there, so people can make those informed decisions for themselves,” she said.

In light of Freedom Day in the UK – commencing on July 19 – Dr Green will still be wearing a mask on public transport.

“Sometimes two safety measures are better than one,” said Dr Green, referring to the vaccine and the use of face masks.

“None of the protective measures are completely effective on their own,” chimed in Professor Gilbert.

“We get the best protection when we link up different ways to protect ourselves.”

Professor Gilbert reminded viewers that “we’re wearing masks to protect other people”.

“I think it’s a sign of respect if you’re in a situation where you might be able to transmit a virus to somebody else, to keep the mask on.”

“They’re slightly uncomfortable,” Dr Green confessed, “but I’d wear a mask on a tube in London, for sure, and on the bus.”

“If anyone was particularly wanting me to wear a mask, I would,” conclude Professor Gilbert.

Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images

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