WHO (The World Health Organization) have recommended using the coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in all countries, although in some countries such as South Africa, Brazil, and Japan, the version of COVID-19 is different and these new forms of the virus seem to render the vaccines less effective.

WHO have stated that the vaccine is able to be used in people over the age of 65, although some countries have urged for this not to happen. Spacing out the two doses, which is what is currently happening in the UK, makes the vaccine more effective, according to WHO. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is looked upon as the ideal “vaccine for the world”, as the vaccine is cheap, can be mass produced and can also be stored in a normal fridge.

Sage (a branch of WHO specialising in immunisation), has been putting together evidence from vaccine trials. Its interim recommendations say the vaccine is 63% effective overall. However, there is controversy about its effectiveness against the new variants of the virus, as well as the question of whether it should be used in the elderly and also how far apart the doses should be spaced out, because of a lack of data. To put these controversies to bed, WHO have said even though there was a small number of over 65s in the immunisation trials, other studies showed older people had an almost  identical immune response to younger adults so the vaccine should be used, meaning it should be fine. Also, early data from immunization trials in South Africa showed that the vaccine providing "minimal protection" against mild and moderate disease in young people.  However, WHO's director of immunisation, Dr Katherine O'Brien, stated that the South African study was "inconclusive" and it was "plausible" the vaccine would still prevent severe disease meaning that the vaccine should still be okay to use even on the new variants of the virus.

This new, seemingly effective vaccine provides hope for the future and can give us a chance at returning back to normality.